Glemsford dogs develops a penchant for footballs - and unearth 40 lost balls during daily walks

Maggie, the border collie, has retrieved more than 20 footballs from round Glemsford playing field o

Maggie, the border collie, has retrieved more than 20 footballs from round Glemsford playing field over the past few months and her owner Meg wants to reunite them with their owners. - Credit: Gregg Brown

Border collies are famous for their ability to round up sheep and sniff out drugs or explosives.

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- Credit: Gregg Brown

But one dog owner in west Suffolk says her pet has developed an unusual skill of locating and retrieving lost footballs from the playing field near her home.

Maggie, an eight-year-old rescue dog who lives with her owner Meg Brace and another border collie named Gizmo in Glemsford near Sudbury, has so far discovered around 40 footballs under hedges, hidden in undergrowth and even in trees at the local sports field, during her daily walks.

Mrs Brace, who is retired, currently has 23 footballs in her possession which have been hunted down by the super sensitive nose of her pet, and she would like to be able to reunite them with their rightful owners.

She has trained dogs for more than 40 years, says she has never before come across one quite like Maggie.

Maggie, the border collie, has retrieved more than 22 footballs from round Glemsford playing field o

Maggie, the border collie, has retrieved more than 22 footballs from round Glemsford playing field over the past few months and her owner Meg wants to reunite them with their owners. - Credit: Gregg Brown

“I’ve never trained Maggie in this respect and she is quite unique because she will be going along and then she will suddenly stop, put her nose up in the air and find a football in a tree,” Mrs Brace said.

“Sometimes she will be running all over the field and then she’ll disappear in to a ditch and come back with a football. It’s incredible but she seems to be able to smell them. There’s only been one I’ve had to help her with – she usually just reappears with one.

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“She picks them up with her mouth and I have to grab them quickly before she gets over excitable and sinks her teeth into them!”

Mrs Brace, whose home in Weavers Drive backs onto the playing field, believes some of the balls have been lost in hedges and ditches by children playing socially at the ground. But she added: “At times Maggie has found really professional looking footballs that have obviously gone missing during a match. We have one here that looks brand new and was obviously lost on its first outing.

Maggie, the border collie, has retrieved more than 22 footballs from round Glemsford playing field o

Maggie, the border collie, has retrieved more than 22 footballs from round Glemsford playing field over the past few months and her owner Meg wants to reunite them with their owners. Meg Brace with Maggie the dog. - Credit: Gregg Brown

“We’ve developed quite a stash now and I think some of the people who bought these footballs would be glad to have them back.”

Anyone who recognises one of the footballs in the picture can contact Mrs Brace on 01787 281681.