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Escaped Welsh Springer recovered at Southern Counties

To lose a dog anywhere is a heart stopping experience, but to lose one 100 miles from home from a showground near the junction between the M4 and the busy A34 trunk road at rush hour time is a nightmare that sends shivers down your spine writes Christine McDonald.

But that is exactly what happened to Gill Tully at Southern Counties, when somehow one of her Welsh Springers escaped from the showground.

Exhibitors noticed a Welsh Springer running free by the breed benches and tried to catch her.  It became obvious to those who knew her, that it was Gill’s top winning Sh Ch Highclare Energizer.  Normally unflappable in temperament, ‘Pipit’ was very obviously spooked and was running away from people trying to catch her. She continued to run, out of the safety of the showground, and towards the main road. 

As soon as news broke that ‘Pipit’ was missing, Gill, picking me up on the way, drove frantically in the direction of the A34 where it had been reported that some workman had seen a spaniel on the run.  Gill found the workman who had seen Pipit and set off running in the direction of where she had last been seen, while I drove the van around the vicinity searching for a sighting but to no avail. Gill and I met back at the showground and we then went off together for a wider search. Then the awful phone call came that “a brown and white dog had been seen dead on the southbound A34, seven miles north of the showground”. We looked everywhere but saw no sign of any animal until we got back to the showground. Gill and I were just setting off again to repeat the journey when ‘Pipit’ ran across in front of the van and through a hedge on the left. We lept out and scrambled down a steep gravel bank calling out to her until she must have recognised Gill’s voice, turned and ran towards us. ‘Pipit’ jumped into Gill’s arms and I think I did too, such was the relief! A quick check showed that the dog had no injuries, despite having crossed the main A34 twice! 

There are still many unanswered questions, but the most important thing is that no lives were lost or injured.  Gill would like to apologise for the frantic way in which she left the showground in pursuit of her missing dog.  She says she ‘lost the plot’ and may have driven less conscientiously than she normally does in her panic to get to ‘Pipit’.

She would also like to thank most sincerely the people who helped in the search, the Southern Counties show committee for their support and assistance, and the many, many people who showed their concern. “It was luck that she had not been killed on the busy roads it was luck that we found her at all, but it was a miracle that she popped up on the road in front of us. She is totally unscathed and apart from being tired she is fine”.