Mon, 29 Jun 2020
A MIRACLE dog that had been lost for two weeks, feared trapped down a rabbit warren, has turned up safe and sound.
Simba, a one-year-old Cavapoo, disappeared on a walk in a field in Aldbourne on June 9, and there had not been hide nor hair of him since.
His owners, Kathy and Stephen Arnott, did all they could to find him, including enlisting the help of fire and rescue teams from Wiltshire and Hampshire, while countless good Samaritans joined the search.
They exhausted all their options, including using disposable barbeques to attract the pooch with the smell, hanging mobile phones down rabbit holes playing recordings of their other Cavapoo, Leo, barking, and using sophisticated sound equipment to try and listen for movement or a heartbeat.
They even called upon psychics to try and find the pup.
It was with despair that Mrs Arnott announced on the Hungerford community Facebook page on June 16 that they had done “everything humanly possible” to find Simba, but that time had defeated them.
Imagine their surprise and joy when on Tuesday – 14 days after first disappearing – the Cavapoo turned up on their back doorstep looking worse for wear but in one piece.
Mrs Arnott said: “I was upstairs reading in bed and my husband came upstairs screaming, ‘Simba is alive! Simba is alive!’
“I was completely shocked – we just could not believe it.
“I think we had started the awful grieving process without closure, thinking we’ve got to move on.
“It’s a different feeling to a dog being hit by a car or dying of cancer – it’s all traumatic but it’s the not knowing.
“We’d even ordered a plaque.”
The poor pooch could barely walk or stand, was shell-shocked, severely dehydrated and had lost 40 per cent of his body weight, but is expected to make a full recovery after spending a couple of days at the vets.
On how Simba had managed to survive for so long, Mrs Arnott said: “We had a couple of thunderstorms in that time and presumably the moisture got down to where he was and he got enough to keep him alive.
“He’s still like a puppy in that he eats everything, so the vets think he lived off clay and rabbit droppings.
“It’s amazing and we still have no idea which hole he went down.
“I just wish he could talk and tell us.”
Mrs Arnott also paid tribute to the local community who had rallied behind the family so much since originally posting a Facebook appeal on the night he disappeared.
She continued: “The kindness has been absolutely unbelievable.
“We’ve been overwhelmed with people’s encouragement, kind words, offering meals for us and offering terriers and bloodhounds to help search.
“It’s absolutely amazing, even today people have been messaging asking how we’re doing and they that they haven’t stopped thinking about him.
“Collectively I believe we all brought him home.”