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Woman praises community spirit for finding dog scared by fireworks

Choccie ran off in Thatcham after being scared by fireworks

John Herring

John Herring


01635 886633

Woman praises community spirit for finding dog scared by fireworks

A THATCHAM woman has praised the town’s community spirit, after people rallied to help find her pet dog who had been scared by fireworks. 

Emma Benson’s Tibetan terrier Choccie fled from their home in Henwick Lane after being spooked by pyrotechnics on Saturday.

Mrs Benson said: “She was really, really frightened by the fireworks that were over our house.

“We were watching TV and heard the fireworks and went rushing out to the garden to get her in, but she was nowhere to be seen.” 

The family searched for Choccie and were joined by neighbours but there was no sign of the pet pooch. 

Mrs Benson posted an appeal on Facebook which was shared and boosted by her friend Annabel Farley. 

Within minutes, people responded, saying they had seen a dog matching Choccie’s description one mile away at the Nature Discovery Centre. 

But a lady who tried to catch Choccie at the lakes said that the dog was spooked by more fireworks and ran off. 

Meanwhile, the social media continued to spread, with another resident grabbing dog biscuits and a lead and heading out to try and find Choccie.

Mrs Benson then received another post saying that three girls had located Choccie near Cedar Dental Care on the A4.

The girls were on their way to a party, but after seeing the post and Choccie, stopped traffic on the A4 to safely retrieve her. 

Mrs Benson said: “They were really nice.

“They recognised her from the description and stopped traffic and managed to catch her.

“Within an hour of posting we had her back.

“We wouldn’t have found her otherwise.

“It was horrible and cold outside and she would have been utterly miserable.

“It’s the power of social media and also the real community spirit out there.

“I was so overwhelmed.

“People are so community-minded – we think there’s no community anymore but actually there are many community-minded people who are willing to leave their comfort zone and come and help you if you ask for it.” 

Mrs Benson, who owns Mrs B’s Kitchen in Faraday Road, Newbury, said she had contacted those who came to Choccie’s aid. 

She said: “I’ve asked them to come down to the café and I would like to treat them to lunch.

“They were people who had gone out of their way to help without knowing anything about me or my dog.

“They weren’t expecting anything in return, they just wanted to help.”

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