Chesterfield man reunited with Springer Spaniel – after beloved dog was stolen seven months ago from his garden
A Chesterfield man has been reunited with his beloved Springer Spaniel - seven months after the pooch was stolen from his garden.
Phil Littlewood’s “best friend” Lucky has been returned to his delighted owner when a caller told him over the phone he had the dog.
Dog lover Phil was sceptical at first - thinking the call from Reading was another hoax after receiving a number of calls from “weirdos” saying they had Lucky.
However when he heard his best pal’s familiar bark he said “I knew it was my dog.”
The following morning police collected the animal and brought him back to Phil in Chesterfield.
Describing the reunion Phil told how as Lucky saw him from inside the police van his long-lost pet just “stared” at him.
He said: “As they went around the passenger side to get him out the dog saw me and he just stared at me - like he was thinking ‘am I dreaming?’
Lucky, aged seven, went missing in January while self-employed mechanic Phil was working in his workshop at his Stanfree home.
Days after the beloved canine was taken Phil received a call from someone claiming he had the dog and was located in Gloucestershire.
The unknown man - who had seen social media posts about the missing pet - told Phil he had paid £3,500 for Lucky.
He offered to sell the dog back to Phil for the same price as the hound was showing “no interest” in bitches presented to him for breeding.
Police have since confirmed a 34-year-old man from Minsterworth, Gloucestershire, was arrested by Gloucestershire Police in June “in connection with the incident”.
They added: “He has been questioned by officers in Derbyshire and was released under investigation while enquiries continue.”
Speaking to Derbyshire Times about Lucky’s homecoming this week, Phil said: “In a way it seemed a long time but it’s really strange because now he just behaves as he always did - it’s like he’s never been away.”
Though Phil admits the experience has left its mark on the mutt in some ways.
He said: “God knows how many homes he’s had - he’s a little bit less obedient than he used to be.
“I think the last people to have him must have treated him like a king because I’m struggling to get him to eat his dog food - I think they spoiled him rotten.”
Phil, who believes trusting pooch Lucky was enticed into the back of a passing vehicle says the animal now has “no inclination” to climb into visiting friends’ vans as he had in the past.
Speaking about the miraculous return after seven months Phil added: “I do wonder how many times he’s hanged hands.
“But if you saw the dog you’d realise - he’s so lovely that no-one could do anything to him.
“His nature is so good you just can’t believe even the most rotten person could do anything to such a lovely animal.”
Phil, determined not to let the precious doggy go missing again, also thanked Facebook group Find Uk Dogs for their help, adding: “They’ve done this - without them it wouldn’t have happened.”