Family Dog Goes Missing, Returns Home Third Place Winner in Local Contest

A dog in England started a panic among his human family when he went missing. But worry turned to shock when he returned home not only safe, but as a third-place winner in a local dog show.

Bonnie managed to escape from her home in Bolney, West Sussex on Sunday, unsurprisingly worrying her entire family. The dog had even managed to escape just when she had no collar on, after it was removed for her fur to be brushed.

The pooch was about to have the adventure of a lifetime however, arriving home with a rosette in tow, crowned third-place in the rescue dog class at a show in Felbridge, 17 miles away.

It’s estimated that around one in 10 dog owners in the U.K. have experienced their dog going missing. Just a few arrive home safely, but far, far less return home with a dog show rosette.

Dog owner John Wilmer had picked Bonnie up on the side of a road the same day, on the journey to the dog show. Wilmer was taking his own two dogs to the show.

“She was such a lovely dog, I thought it’d be good to enter her,” Wilmer told the BBC. “I was in a bit of a rush to get there when we found Bonnie and put her in the car.”

Wilmer headed to social media to share that he’d found the dog and managed to track down her rightful owner—Paula Closier.

As soon as Bonnie went missing, Closier and her family began searching the local area and taking to social media in a bid to track her down.

“We were frantic as we live right by a main road,” she told the BBC. “Bonnie used to be a street dog and we were so worried she wouldn’t have known to come back.”

Bonnie came to England four years ago as a rescue, after being saved by a charity from living on the streets of Crete, Greece.

It seems that Closier saw the humor in the whole situation, updating Facebook on where Bonnie had managed to find herself, writing: “She was not only rescued, but in this process, went to a dog show and came third before returning.”

Closier even added photos of Bonnie proudly with her rosette.

“We’re so thrilled she’s safe and well and also a winner. You couldn’t make this stuff up,” she added to the BBC.

Newsweek has contacted Paula Closier and John Wilmer for comment.

In another surprising missing dog story, a British dog was found stuck in a rabbit hole for 56 hours in April. The dog named Flossie was found only after neighbors heard its tiny barks from the underground, temporary prison.

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