​​Dog who ran off on vacation 200 miles away is reunited with owner three weeks later

Jack Russell Terrier sat underneath chair outside
(Image credit: Getty Images)

For any pet parent, our furry friends running away or going missing is one of our worst nightmares. And our dogs going missing when we take them on vacation somewhere unfamiliar just isn’t something we want to think about.

After all, you can be the most attentive dog parent, with your pup always on one of the best dog leashes, but it can only take a second. 

But for one dog parent, heartbreak turned to joy after her pup was found 200 miles away after he’d been missing for three weeks.

Ingrid Cooke had driven down to Devon, in the UK, on 10 May, for a vacation, but when she opened her car door her dog, Ozzie, ran off into the countryside. She spent her week in Devon searching for Ozzie, even managing to extend her stay by two days, but eventually had to return home without her beloved pup, saying that driving back without him was the “hardest thing in the world.”

After no sign of terrier cross Ozzie for three weeks, volunteers in the neighboring county of Cornwall contacted the 70-year-old to say they’d found him. She told Leicestershire Live, “It's brilliant news - he's coming home! I'm ecstatic. I've been through all the emotions today - laughing and crying."

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Cooke, who lives alone with five-year-old Ozzie, plans to drive back down to Cornwall – 200 miles away from her home – to fetch him. Ozzie is a rescue dog, living with Cooke since he was a puppy, and she said that when she first got him, he “didn’t know how to play and didn’t understand what toys were.”

She continued, “He went into a humane trap that had been set up for him at 5 am today and he sprung it, so it closed. He's at a vet's in Falmouth at the moment. They're kindly taking care of him and have checked him over. 

“He's very well apparently and he looks very good on the pictures I've been sent. He's been calm and eating lots. He even let the vet have a cuddle!"

The volunteer group Cornwall Search Dogs shared the news of Ozzie’s disappearance on their Facebook page, with plenty of people in the region promising to look out for the rescue pup. There had been several sightings, but with Ozzie being quite a timid dog, it took the humane trap for him to be caught.

We hope you never will be, but if you’re ever in a similar position, here’s how to find a lost dog. Meanwhile, here’s what to do if you find a lost dog yourself.

Adam England
Freelance Writer

Adam is a freelance journalist covering lifestyle, health, culture, and pets, and he has five years' experience in journalism. He's also spent the last few years studying towards undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in journalism. While a cat person at heart, he's often visiting his parents' Golden Retriever, and when he's not writing about everything pets he's probably drinking coffee, visiting a cat cafe, or listening to live music.