A rescue dog from Sri Lanka took herself on a treacherous seven mile trip back to her UK home after escaping from doggy day care.
Three-year-old hound Daisy is the beloved pet of Phil Blakeway and Charlotte Webster from Drayton Bassett near Tamworth. The pair say they have tried to give Daisy the best in life after she was found by Phil as a sickly puppy on the streets of Sri Lanka.
This includes taking her to doggy day care while carpenter Phil and Charlotte – who is a doctor in Birmingham – are at work. But the pair were left devastated after receiving a call that their dog had escaped at 7.30am on Thursday 18 February. They say they do not blame the day care for ‘headstrong’ Daisy’s escape.
Charlotte, age 29, said, “I felt immediate dread once I had the call to say she went missing and hadn’t been seen since. She had only ever been driven to the area and it is more than seven miles away from home.”
“Never in a million years did I think she would be able to find her way home”
“Between our house and where she went missing lies the M42, the M6 toll and numerous busy trucking roads which supply the north of Birmingham.”
A post on social media was shared thousands of times, and some 40 people turned out to look for the timid dog, but there were no confirmed sightings for several hours. Daisy was later spotted near Kingsbury Water Park and the Belfry Hotel, meaning she had crossed the two busy motorways and several A roads in her path.
At around 1am – some 18 hours after Daisy had first gone missing – Charlotte and Phil went home.
Charlotte said, “As we turned onto the drive my headlights shone onto the porch we had left open and there was a very sheepish and tired looking Daisy, dutifully looking out for our return. I could see she was whimpering and her tail was going a million miles an hour when she recognised the car.”
“I was so shocked. Never in a million years did I think she would be able to find her way home. We had lots of cuddles, and there was not a dry eye between us.”
The couple had left a scent trail of their clothes and Daisy’s favourite treats and believe she had followed it the last few miles home. But it is not her first adventure – Daisy travelled thousands of miles on a flight from Sri Lanka to Heathrow Airport in 2018 to be reunited with Phil and partner Charlotte.
Phil, age 32, knew he had to rescue Daisy after he found her on the streets as a young puppy in 2017. She had been dumped along with her siblings, and despite being fed by Phil, Daisy’s brother and sister died. It is believed the puppies had tick-borne disease babesia, which can prove fatal if left untreated.
“It was that love, that bond and that intelligence that inspired Daisy to get back to her loved ones”
He spoke to struggling UK Registered Charity Animal SOS Sri Lanka, which is home to some 60 cats and 1,800 abused and injured dogs, with many disabled after being injured on the country’s busy roads. Founder Kim Cooling agreed to take in the pup, nurse her back to health and care for her until she could eventually fly back to the UK.
Charlotte said, “Daisy had a terrible start in life, being dumped and abandoned as a very young pup, and we have always tried to go above and beyond to pamper her and make sure her life is filled with all the best things to make up for this.
“I kept thinking after being abandoned, surviving the streets of Sri Lanka, surviving babesia and recovering from death’s door, we were going to lose her on the roads near where we live.
“We joke she is a bit of diva but her remarkable journey home to us showed that she is definitely made of that tough Sri Lankan street dog stuff.”
And Animal SOS founder Kim Cooling, who lives in South Woodford, agreed. She said, “Having lived with and after helping street dogs for many years, they never cease to amaze me with their intelligence, resilience and loyalty. I had a feeling Daisy would somehow find her way back to Phil and Charlotte against such odds.
“Once rescued and given a second chance in life, these dogs are incredibly faithful and bond with their owners so intensely. It was that love, that bond and that intelligence that inspired Daisy to get back to her loved ones. She is an amazing dog.”
Visit www.animalsos-sl.com to find out more about the charity or donate.