The day after leaving home, the puppy returns with a dog show rosette after taking third place

“We’re so thrilled she’s safe and well and also a winner. You couldn’t make this stuff up,” the pup’s relieved family said.

When a dog ran away from home in England, only to return later that day bearing a rosette from a dog competition, the family was in for quite the emotional rollercoaster.

When their 5-year-old beagle-cross Bonnie disappeared from their Bolney, West Sussex, home on July 10, Peter and Paula Closier were distraught. In a last-ditch effort to find her, they called the police, neighborhood vets, and the dog warden, in addition to organizing a search party with their two kids and neighbors.

The pair told The Argus they were feeding Bonnie and their second dog, Cleo, when Bonnie vanished. “We thought maybe she is not interested in food and did a full search of the house. I could not see her,” 52-year-old Peter shared. I was walking back to the kitchen when I saw the gate had swung and I thought ‘oh no’.”  After a three-hour search, they were about to give up when Paula came across a Facebook post from John Wilmer asking for the pet’s owner to get in touch.

They quickly discovered that Wilmer had encountered Bonnie minutes after she had fled while on his way to a dog show in Felbridge, Surrey, with two of his own dogs.

Wilmer made the decision to put Bonnie in the class for rescue dogs at the dog show he was attending once all the family’s concerns were allayed. The beagle-cross shocked her family when she returned home with the rosette she had won after unexpectedly placing third in the category. “We couldn’t believe it. You could not make it up,” said Peter. “Bonnie was absolutely fine when she got back. She just thought she was having a great day out.”

Wilmer said to BBC what motivated him to submit Bonnie in the contest: “She was such a lovely dog, I thought it’d be good to enter her. I was in a bit of a rush to get there when we found Bonnie and put her in the car. I left a message on Facebook before taking her to the show. I was so pleased she did so well.” 

Unlike their other dog Cleo, who has won three rosettes at dog shows for Greek dogs, Peter and Paula, who are both dental technicians, admitted they had never entered Bonnie, who was rescued from the streets of Crete when she was one, into any competitions.

“We never pursued dog shows with Bonnie. We should do now,” Peter said. “When she was missing I had five different outcomes in my head, the best being that she came back. 

This was even better than that, she came back with a rosette.” 

“She’s had such a full life. When John brought her back to us with a rosette we couldn’t believe it. It’s a shame she didn’t come first in the show,” Paula added. 

“The famous doggie, who escaped home for an amazing adventure that ended up with [her] winning a Rosette!!” has recently been given an Instagram account by the family.

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