Saturday, 24 August 2019

Dog flees after being spooked by fireworks

Dog flees after being spooked by fireworks

A FAMILY'S dog fled more than two miles from home after being frightened by a neighbour’s fireworks display.

McQueen, a 10-year-old border collie belonging to Lisa-Jane Reynolds, was found running along Dunsden Way, Binfield Heath, after bolting from her home in Yarnton Close, Emmer Green, on Sunday evening.

A passing driver stopped and let the dog into his car before seeing Mrs Reynolds’ phone number engraved on his collar tag and calling her.

McQueen had ran off in panic to escape from the loud bangs coming from a garden two doors away.

The incident comes at the end of the Henley Standard’s month-long Ban The Bangs campaign, which encourages people to use quiet fireworks or go to large public events because of the effect the noise has on animals.

Mrs Reynolds, who lives with her children Daniel, 14, and Zara, 12, said McQueen was lucky not to have been killed by traffic as he ran along the unlit country lanes. She said: “The children were upset and very cross with the neighbours for letting off the fireworks.”

Mrs Reynolds, 46, said McQueen was frightened of fireworks and became nervous when Abbey Rugby Club, off
Peppard Road, held a display the previous evening. His ears pricked up and he was panting and
dribbling heavily but the family helped him cope by turning the television up loud and giving him a sedative prescribed by a vet.

On Sunday, Mrs Reynolds arrived home from visiting a relative to find McQueen cowering upstairs from the noise of her neighbour’s fireworks with the children comforting him.

She said: “I have to say they seemed pretty loud. I haven’t seen a domestic display for a long time but everything seems more industrial these days and far louder than the little Catherine wheels we had when I was a child.

“This one seemed to be going on forever, one firework after another. It was so loud that it sounded as though they were going off in our own garden. There were one or two other displays going on in nearby streets which were echoing all through the sky.”

She brought McQueen downstairs and then went into the garage via an internal door but didn’t spot the main garage door was partly open and the dog suddenly fled when there was a particularly loud bang.

Mrs Reynolds and the children searched the street for the dog and she posted an appeal on the Caversham Dog Owners Facebook page. She then began walking along Peppard Road towards Dunsden, callng her pet’s name.

About 20 minutes later, she received the call from the man who had found McQueen and agreed to meet him outside the Bottle and Glass pub in Binfield Heath.

Mrs Reynolds said: “McQueen must have been really frightened as he’d gone a long way in a pretty short time. He must have started running and not stopped.

“It’s horrible to think about it because I never usually leave the garage door open but I didn’t notice it on this occasion and I guess he just bolted. I assumed I’d find him hiding in the house as usual but after searching a few times I had the horrible realisation that he wasn’t there.

“When the man called, I felt so relieved that McQueen hadn’t been killed in the road, which was the main worry.

“I came straight home to tell the children the good news and we went off together as they wanted to be with McQueen as soon as they could.”

The family arrived at the pub to find McQueen cowering in the passenger footwell of the man’s car. He was shaking a little but pleased to see his owners.

Mrs Reynolds, who works at the Oratory Preparatory School in Goring Heath, hasn’t spoken to her neighbour but is encouraging people not to set off fireworks at home.

She said: “There are plenty of public displays and it doesn’t seem necessary to have something like that in your garden when there are safe alternatives.

“I completely understand that people want to celebrate but there must be ways that don’t affect pets and their owners.

“We are so pleased to have McQueen back and very grateful to the driver who rescued him.”

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