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Stolen spitz pup returned


A German Spitz puppy was stolen from its owner’s van in broad daylight at a show, the target of opportunist thieves, in common with other dogs stolen in public recently. The dog in question was black seven weeks puppy Runfold Midnight Cowboy, aka ‘Ronnie’, bred and owned by well known Spitz breeder and exhibitor ‘Eddie’ Andrew.

Eddie had been exhibiting at the BUBA Open Show in Coventry on March 16th. Ronnie was caged in her transporter van, which was parked in the car park, alongside two adult dogs in cages, including the pup’s mother.

When Eddie returned to her ban, she found that thieves had opened the door and removed the pup. They had tried to open the adult’s cages, but had probably been dissuaded by the dogs’ barking which would have attracted attention.

“They must have been in and out pretty quick,” Eddie told OUR DOGS, “because they left my CD Player, handbag and digital camera, all of which were in plain view. I suspect they heard the dogs barking when they passed the van and opened the door.”

Eddie immediately alerted the show authorities to the theft and called the police, who did not attend. She quickly set off with her friend and fellow exhibitor Annette Leslie to scour the nearby lanes for the puppy, in case it had been abandoned.

They pulled into a Traveller’s Site and asked two men standing near a bonfire whether they had seen an escaped puppy. The men said they hadn’t, but Eddie mentioned there would be a reward for the dog’s return, if they had any information.

“The funny thing was,” says Eddie, “I was wearing a fleece jacket I’d bought from Greyhound Rescue at Crufts the previous week, which had a Greyhound on the front. One of the chaps asked me if I kept Greyhounds or Lurchers. I told him that this was odd coincidence, and mentioned a traveller chap I knew from about four years back when I worked my dog grooming business from a pet shop in Luton. A local traveller, chap called Tom, who was a renowned boxer brought a saluki cross puppy into the shop and, cutting a long story short, he agreed to pay me to look after her - she was named Tara - and I raised her for him. After six months she went back to him. Some time later, he turned up with the poor thing in a shocking state. She had mange and, we later discovered, a high femur fracture. I immediately bought her from him for £175 - he’d wanted £300, but I beat him down - and Tara stayed with me. We’d lost touch, but I just wondered whether these chaps knew him.”

The effect on the men was instantaneous.

Devastated

“They said they knew him very well and that he lived on the site, but was away,” says Eddie. “One of the chaps, who identified himself as Patrick took my mobile phone number and promised to call me if he had any news. Later, as I was driving home, he called me on my mobile and told me that his name was Patrick and he was, in fact, Tom’s cousin. Tom, apparently, now lived in Coventry and was a born again Christian! Even better, he said he’d call again on Tuesday when he’d have the puppy for me. He also made it very clear he didn’t want any money. I was ecstatic.”

In the event, Eddie called Patrick on Monday, to enquire what time of day would be best on Tuesday to collect the puppy, but her hopes were dashed. One of Patrick’s sons answered and said his father was ill in hospital and he had no idea where the puppy was.

“I was devastated,” says Eddie, “My world felt like it was falling apart. But I determined to drive back to Coventry on Wednesday and try to find Tom to see if he could help me. But I decided to call Patrick’s number again at 10 am on the Wednesday morning before I set off to see Tom, just in case.”

To Eddie’s delight, Patrick’s wife answered and said that although her husband was still ill in hospital - for which Eddie expressed her sympathy - she had the puppy with her, as her children had found it in Birmingham, and that Eddie was welcome to collect him as soon as she liked.

“I drove straight up there with some flowers for Patrick’s wife and £50 for their kids to buy a new dog,” says Eddie. “Everything was fine, Ronnie was in good health and I brought him straight home. He is a special little dog to me, being the only one in the litter. I shall be a bit more security conscious at shows in future. “I’ve no idea who took him, although the moral of the story is, it always pays to have connections!”