Janet Flanagan and Hugo after being reunited.
Janet Flanagan and Hugo after being reunited. Carlie Walker

Who can resist helping a short, friendly, grey-haired chap?

OPINION: He was such a lovely, friendly chap, when I saw him standing near a street sign on Freshwater St in Scarness, I couldn't just leave him waiting there.

I had been in court all afternoon and had just been driving back to the office when I spotted him.

Sure he was short and almost completely grey, but I'm not picky.

I pulled over the car, walked over a picked him up.

He seemed to be a silky terrier of some description, sported a permanent grin and a red collar, and was very sweet.

I asked the neighbouring homes if they knew who owned him but no one had any idea.

Back at the Chronicle office, we laid down paper in one of the interview rooms while I typed up a few court stories.

Hearing his lonely barks, a colleague decided to free the little guy, who I nicknamed Puppy.

He had no trouble fitting in with the Chronicle team, racing around the almost empty office, making his presence known.

I think our general manger Darren Bosley might have been a little surprised when Puppy stuck his head into his office though.

Photographer Alistair Brightman was very taken with Puppy and rang the council's number to try to find out if anyone had asked after him.

Unfortunately no one had.

We took Puppy to the Hervey Bay Veterinary Clinic and one of the team members ran a scan to see if he was micro chipped, which he was.

Unfortunately, they searched the database and didn't come up with any information for him.

That meant he was coming home with me for the night.

I had a slight amount of trepidation.

We have a pomeranian named Cooper who is very bossy, possessive of his parents and generally thinks he is the size of a rottweiler.

Fortunately, when we got Puppy home, the two hit it off.

They were soon racing around the house, sharing a food bowl and cuddling on the couch to watch some TV.

When it came time to go to bed, Puppy discovered the spare room for a brief time, but soon gave that up to come and cuddle on a pillow in the main bedroom.

I'd be lying if I didn't say we were becoming a little attached.

I packed the little guy in the car with me in the morning with a heavy heart.

I didn't want to take him to the pound, but I knew it was the best place for him to find his parents.

Unfortunately, when I got there, I discovered the pound doesn't open until 3.30pm.

I called the council who informed me people had left a description of a lost dog very close to Puppy's description.

Unfortunately that turned out to be a red herring.

I took Puppy home, gave him some water and went to work.

At 10.15am I got a phone call from a council officer who said he was confident this time that Puppy's family had been found.

He put me on the phone to Janet Flanagan, who could barely talk through tears.

She gave me a description of Puppy and mentioned his little red collar.

I knew we had a winner.

We met at the house and she and Puppy, whose real name is Hugo, were reunited.

I also found out he isn't a puppy at all but rather a mature, friendly eight-year-old dog.

She and her husband had been out searching the streets of Scarness for their dog and had actually found a neighbour I had spoken to, so they knew someone had him.

Janet told me she had been up all night crying, fretting about Hugo, who they got from a lost dog's organisation, worried that he was scared and lonely at the pound.

I was so glad she got him back.



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