A Derbyshire dog owner has called for the safe return of her beloved dog and “best buddy” after it was stolen while out for a walk earlier this year.
Jane Mercer went out with her dog Blue on Monday the 14th.
Blue, a 13-year-old Sprocker – a mix of Cocker and Springer Spaniel – was at the forefront while Jane spoke to the man, who then abruptly ended the conversation and walked away.
Then when Jane tried to find Blue, whom she bought in 2008 as a 10 week puppy, he was gone.
There is now a Facebook page devoted to finding Blue. More than 4,500 people follow Bring Blue Back Home.
She said, “The only reason I took them out back then was just to make sure they went out before they went to the groomers.
“Funnily enough, it’s not a walk I usually do because it’s a slightly shorter route.
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âWhen we reached the plateau, there was a man with a dog on the sidewalk and he was just standing on the sidewalk.
âBut where it stood, the zigzag path to the monument begins, and it is a bit wooded and has a bit of dense vegetation. He engaged me in conversation, asked me where the path led, and he started pointing it out.
“I just thought I was talking to a handler so I tried to be helpful and see where he was pointing and answering his questions and losing sight of where Blue was going, but it’s not uncommon for a jumper just go into the undergrowth and sniff around.
âAnd then he ended the conversation, really strange. It wasn’t a normal ending, he just turned and disappeared and left, and when I turned, Blue wasn’t there.
“After everything we’ve done, I think there was someone I didn’t see, that man distracted me enough and made me look the other way so that someone else could take Blue with them. “
Jane said that Blue, who is a blue roan with a docked tail, would not bark at strangers and could easily be tempted by eating.
She also said that two friends who are dog trainers encountered a similar incident shortly after Blue was stolen, but left the area after becoming suspicious of a man and woman who used the same tactic.
Blue is microchipped but scans have shown no sign of him, and he also has a sister, Pebble, who went blind at the age of five and is now practically deaf.
Jane keeps Pebble on a leash when walking, which means she couldn’t follow Blue into the bushes when he went missing.
She says that Pebble is a different dog now and won’t sleep at night because she misses her brother, while Jane also processed the emotional trauma of losing her beloved pet.
Blue has also been a great comfort to Jane, who was diagnosed with breast cancer last year and she believes Blue and Pebble will be her last dogs.
She said, “It was my worst nightmare. It’s like an emotional roller coaster ride, it’s difficult to get on with normal life.
“Life isn’t the same anymore, it’s relentless, it’s all you can think of, every day, every hour, every minute, it doesn’t go away.
âI don’t think I’m the same person anymore. I feel incredibly guilty when I do something normal.
“I can’t remember the last time I smiled, I find it difficult to do certain things with other people, I sometimes find it difficult to concentrate.
âYou keep wondering if Blue is dead, is he alive, is he safe, is he being looked after or is he in terrible condition?
“These two dogs will probably be my last dogs because I can’t take the risk. So getting them back is all the more important. I miss him terribly.”
If you have any information on Blue’s whereabouts you can contact the Derbyshire Police or the Bring Blue Back Home Facebook page.
Blue is now part of an advertising campaign by voluntary organization Dog Lost and raw food company The Farmer’s Dog, along with Enzo, another dog missing from the county, who are now adding missing dog posters to all of their online deliveries.
It comes because dog ownership grew rapidly during the pandemic, with an estimated two million four-legged friends purchased in the first six months of lockdown.
However, this has also led to an increase in thefts, with Dog Lost reporting 465 thefts in 2020 and 254 in 2021 on Oct. 20.
They recommend microchipping your dog, privatizing social media accounts so thieves cannot see your dog, watching out for strangers and keeping dogs off the leash, making sure your yard has alarms or cameras if necessary Is secured and consider insurance policies that cover missing pets.
Meanwhile, Jane has been concerned about Blue’s safety and has said that she would give a refund to any dog ââowner who bought Blue who is unaware of their past.
She feels the clock is ticking for Blue given his age and she wants to spend his final years with him.
She said, “I really don’t think we should get to a point where we have to keep our dogs on leashes all the time.
“But I think if you want to let your dog off the leash, do so in a more open area with other people around than in my circumstances where there was a slightly narrower path that might not be quite so went well and had. ” To have places where people can hide.
“We just want to ask anyone who could have him, for us the time with his age is not on our side and of course we want him back.
“We are realistic enough to believe that he could have been sold in good faith or given to someone, the story they sold about him could be that he was not wanted or that his owner died or he was a stray or was unloved.
“We’d like to tell everyone who has him that they have a grieving owner and loving family who want him back, and we would replace whatever they paid for him so they could have their own dog, den they might have “years ahead because Blue doesn’t have those years.”
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