It’s always great when a missing pet returns home. Depending on how long they’ve been gone and where they’ve been, sometimes they look a little different, like losing weight or looking a little worn out.
But recently, one missing dog returned home with something no one expected — a prize ribbon from a local dog show, after the lost pup took third place.
Peter and Paula Closier, from West Sussex, England, were devastated when their beloved pet, a 5-year-old beagle named Bonnie went missing last month. The couple rescued the former street dog four years ago.
“We were frantic as we live right by a main road,” Paula told BBC. “Bonnie used to be a street dog and we were so worried she wouldn’t have known to come back.”
The owners began searching their neighborhood, putting messages on Facebook hoping someone would find their lost dog.
Little did they know, someone picked up Bonnie not long after she went missing — and led to a very funny twist in the story.
A man named John Wilmer found the beagle on the side of the road, and seeing she was lost, he picked her up and gave her a ride. He happened to have his own two dogs in the car — and they were on their way to a local dog show, where John was set to submit his dogs for competition.
“I was in a bit of a rush to get there when we found Bonnie and put her in the car,” John told BBC.
After arriving at the show, John realized that the missing pup might actually do quite well in the competition and signed her up. “She was such a lovely dog, I thought it’d be good to enter her,” he recalled.
To everyone’s surprise, Bonnie took third place in the rescue dog class, going home with a yellow rosette ribbon. “I was so pleased she did so well,” John said.
John also got in touch with the Closier family, and made plans to return Bonnie to them. The couple was thrilled their dog was safe — and stunned that she had not only been in a dog show while she was away, but was coming home a champion.
Paula told Sussex Express that Bonnie had never had any training for a dog show, making the whole situation even more unbelievable and funny.
“Not for one millisecond were my husband and I upset about it, we were just so grateful that a dog lover had rescued her and everything after that was hilarious,” she told the outlet. “It’s a book in the making as far as I’m concerned.”
She said that Bonnie seemed very happy about the whole adventure, and seems to have a knack for dog competitions.
“[She’s] a free spirit,” she told The Dodo. “She’s lovely, never negative, tail always wagging… We found her adventure lovely and funny.”
“We’re so thrilled she’s safe and well and also a winner. You couldn’t make this stuff up,” she told BBC.
What a great end to this story: not only did they get their dog back, but the dog came back a winner! Congrats, Bonnie — we’re glad you’re home safe and sound!
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