Dog thief went drinking in wrong watering hole

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From: Rod Fox and Debbie Davies, The Avenue, Starbeck, Harrogate.

HOW often do we find in our papers sad and distressing news stories? Where are all the good ones, those heart-warming, happy-ending types that many people long to hear? Here is one that may surprise and please many of your readers.

Dog theft is becoming a major issue in the UK and beyond. Too many people leave their pets unattended outside shops, supermarkets, etc, only to return and find them gone. My sister had this happen to her just recently.

She returned to the UK on November 20 after 30 years away in Australia and being unable to leave her beloved pet dog, Dodger, she paid to have him shipped over and be with her here in Britain. Imagine her horror when after just two weeks she went to the local Morrisons supermarket, fastened her dog up to do some quick shopping, only to return to find him gone.

The man who took the dog (amazingly) walked into the Prince of Wales public house on the High Street as if the dog was his own. Little did he know that I and my sister Debbie frequent the pub and that we, together with Dodger, are known patrons.

The landlord and customers immediately confronted the man and told him that they knew the owners of this dog, and that this dog was not leaving the premises, to which the man had no alternative but to hand him over and beat a retreat.

Two regulars in particular, Sam Perry and George, took Dodger back to Morrisons, obtained our address and very kindly walked all the way to our home to return Dodger to a much relieved owner.

In these days of troubles – theft, robbery, anti social behaviour and others – it is nice to know that community spirit still exists, perhaps not so much in big urban areas but in good old Starbeck certainly.

To all those people who so kindly helped to recover our dog we give a massive thank you.