A FAMILY from Wargrave are overjoyed after being reunited with their deaf and blind dog 10 days after she went missing.
Sally Gingell and her children had given up hope of seeing border terrier Tiggy again and feared she was dead.
Their 15-year-old pet vanished in woods near Kiln Green when the family were visiting Mrs Gingell’s sister on September 29.
She was found on Tuesday last week on the doorstep of a couple in Knowl Hill. She looked skinny, tired and weak.
The couple rang Mrs Gingell after discovering her tele phone number on Tiggy’s collar.
Mrs Gingell, a teacher at Piggott Infant School in Wargrave, said: “I went to collect her on my own as it was a weekday but the school let me go at break time.
“Tiggy was really pleased to see me, although she was a bit dazed.
“I texted the children to let them know she was safe and they were really excited to get home and delighted to see her at the end of the day.
“It was early in the morning when Tiggy turned up on the couple’s doorstep and she was peering through the glass. I think she had been in the woods all that time and she must have had access to water or she would have died.
“We all went back to the couple with a thank-you present.”
Tiggy, who has lost her sight and hearing through old age, is now back at the family’s home in Braybrooke Road and being fed fresh meat, eggs and liver to build her strength up.
Mrs Gingell, a mother-of-four, said: “She was really tired the first day back and she had only been in the garden until Monday when we went for our first walk.
“Tiggy can still do a five-mile walk as she is really fit and we have gone on walking holidays with her in Cumbria.”
Her daughter Kitty, 11, said: “We were so upset when Tiggy went missing so when she came back it was the best day of my life. I could not believe it when mum texted us at school — I kept checking my phone to make sure it was real.”
Kitty’s brother Freddie, 13, said: “We did not think we would see her again and were devastated. We were amazed when she came back. Our other dogs Toffee and Sooty were really happy too.”
Mrs Gingell said the family were distraught when Tiggy vanished.
“She is very greedy so we thought she was maybe off in the neighbours’ dustbins,” she said.
“I took the children home and went back to look for her with my sister.
“We hunted for hours and went through every garden in the area and also looked in the woods. The next day was a beautiful day and I went back again but when she did not turn up we thought she had suffered a heart attack and died.
“Although she has gone for adventures before she has always come back very soon.”
Mrs Gingell had to break the news to her other two daughters and said: “We all had little cries.”
The family had planned to have a ceremony for their pet when Mrs Gingell received the call to say that Tiggy had been found.
Now they are keeping a special eye on their pet and spoiling her even more than normal.
Freddie said: “When we watch television at night we keep her on our laps as it is all extra time now.”