Double miracle as dogs return out of nowhere

By Paul Kelly
Tuesday, 25th August 2020, 12:12 pm
Updated Wednesday, 26th August 2020, 10:10 am
Wanda Swinton with Sam, to her right, and Tibbs.
Wanda Swinton with Sam, to her right, and Tibbs.

Ron and Wanda Swinton were crestfallen when their working cockers – Sam, almost six, and Tibbs, nearly three – went missing in a forest behind their cottage home at Langburnshiels, 10 miles outside of Hawick, on Sunday, August 9.

Despite constant searching and a couple of initial sightings there was no news on the dogs, who were both microchipped, for six long days.

But suddenly on Saturday, August 15, Sam turned up unannounced in the couple’s yard.

He was somewhat bedraggled and underweight, but he was home.

The couple were overjoyed, but as the days passed they had started to resign themselves to never seeing Tibbs again.

That was until Sunday past when a couple turned up at their door with the younger dog, who they had picked up on the B6399 near Whitrope.

Again she had lost a great deal of weight, but was obviously delighted to be home.

Wanda, 67, thanked the couple who returned Tibbs and expressed gratitude for all the support and kindness she had received, from the postman to forestry workers, to people posting on social media sites.

She said: “You can tell that they are both very pleased to be home. It is just wonderful and it is a miracle, particularly her.

“On the day they went missing it was a very hot and my husband decided to take the dogs for a walk to the forestry plantation behind us because it would be cooler.

“They went into the forest and the dogs were with him at one moment and then they just disappeared, no sounds, nothing.

“As the second week went on we held out less and less hope for Tibbs, because two weeks for a dog to survive is quite extraordinary.

“We thought either she was dead or else someone had picked her up and kept her.

“But then on Sunday, two weeks to the hour that she had gone missing, a couple turned up in the yard in a car with Tibbs in the boot.

“They had been on a run and on the way back at Whitrope down the hill towards Hawick she was on the road, near the end of one of the forestry tracks.

“They stopped and coaxed her over and she went to them.

“It was absolutely amazing.

“She was very, very thin and she’d lost a lot of her coat, but otherwise it was if she’d never been away, she settled straight back into her routine.

“We have no idea where she has been or what she has been up to. We had resigned ourselves to the fact that we would never see her again.

“It is extraordinary.”