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Stray finds home in the UK

A KIND-HEARTED British couple have adopted a stray puppy they found while on holiday in Crete and plan to shell out £1,500 to bring the dog back to the UK.

Robin and Rebecca Watson, of High Trees, Haywards Heath, West Sussex returned to England a fortnight ago and left the dog in the care of a vet. They will have to wait six months for her to go through quarantine, costing three times as much as the original holiday.

The couple were first approached by the mongrel, which they think has traces of Retriever, Staffordshire Bull Terrier and Whippet, while at their holiday apartment. Mr Watson, 33, an art worker for an advertising agency in London, said: ‘She was so small and sad, obviously extremely anxious and afraid and was begging for food, so we gave her some scraps and thought that would be the end of it. But over the next two days the dog came back to the apartment, so the couple bought some tins of dog food especially for her.

Mr Watson said: ‘Every night she wolfed it down before it was out of the tin. She was obviously starving hungry. She was too frightened to come inside the apartment but it was raining outside and she was shivering with cold, lying outside the back door. Eventually we picked her up and put her inside and covered her in towels, and she stayed there for the night. In the morning, she was bounding about like a proper little puppy.’ By the time the couple decided that they couldn't leave her in Greece, they had only six hours before their flight was due to take off.

They approached a Scottish cafe owner who had a collection box for street animals on her counter, who put them in touch with a local vet. The vet directed them to an English woman called Freida Richards, who runs one of Crete's only kennels.

Ms Richards told them that when tourists go home, few people feed stray animals and some locals use poison and powdered glass to control the stray population.

Before they left, the Watsons handed over some money for the puppy’s care. Mr Watson said: ‘She cost three times as much as the entire holiday because she has to be in quarantine for six months, but every time I think about what we've been able to do for her, I feel really good about it. ‘If you go on holiday, you don't expect to bring anything back, but it does break your heart a little bit because you see all these animals. There are just so many stray cats and dogs in Crete, we were seeing more and more every day.’

The Watsons are appealing for donations to the Greek Animal Welfare Fund. and for suggestions on what their lucky little dog should be named.

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