Emmarie Smyth is used to her dog, Bonny taking a wander but just how it ended up in Belfast last week has left the Limavady woman puzzled!
The dog, almost ten years old and a cross between a whippet and a labrador, went missing from its Roe Valley home last Saturday night. Nothing too unusual in that, according to Emmarie, who said the golden-coloured pooch often takes off and is usually spotted roaming around the town.
“She’s a very placid dog, very good natured and friendly, but she’s a runner,” Emmarie told the ‘Journal’. “If she gets a chance she’s out the door and jumps over my fence and the neighbour’s fence and she’s away. People know the dog better than me, I think sometimes.”
Last Saturday morning, Emmarie noticed the gate was open and there was no sign of Bonny that night.
When she didn’t appear the next day, Emmarie and friends began searching and posted a picture of Bonny and an appeal to find her on Facebook.
That resulted in a message from another user saying a dog matching Bonny’s description was found in Belfast.
After a few phone calls Emmarie was put in touch with a couple from Belfast who’d found Bonny in the Ormeau Embankment area on Sunday morning. They’d kept the dog and taken her to a vet, who reported her as being well.
“I was stunned. I still can’t believe it, but I went up on the Thursday and it was very emotional when I saw her,” said Emmarie. “She was shaking the tail and couldn’t wait to get out of the house, but she’s definitely been left shaken by it. She was crying - real tears - when the couple found her.”
So just how did Bonny end up in Belfast, some 70-odd miles away?
“Whether somebody lifted her to take her and keep her, and she ran off, I don’t know. Or, maybe they realised she was a runner and they let her go. I just don’t know.”
Emmarie praised the couple in Belfast for their kindness.
“When you think of all the things that could have gone wrong. She could have been killed.
“She’s like another child; I call her Bonny Smyth.
“She’s my best friend. The house isn’t the same when she isn’t here, so I would be lost without her.”
Emmarie hopes someone will be able to explain Bonny’s journey.
“She can’t speak the English language just yet so, until then, we don’t know what happened!” said Emmarie. “I still can’t believe she ended up in Belfast.”
Anyone who can help should contact Emmarie on her Facebook page at Emily Smyth.