Owner's desperate hunt for lost dog

WHEN Duncan Stuart Smith lost his beloved dog Abi he had no idea his pleas for help would touch so many people.

Craig Robinson

WHEN Duncan Stuart Smith lost his beloved dog Abi he had no idea his pleas for help would touch so many people.

The German Shepherd Greyhound cross ran off near the road to Hollesley Bay at Rendlesham Forest on Friday, January 15.

For two weeks Mr Stuart Smith has been tirelessly retreading his steps and even spending nights in his car and playing tapes of his other dog's bark in the hope she will return.

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While on the look out he has inevitably met other dog owners, all of whom have been keen to lend a hand.

A network of kindhearted volunteers has now emerged and spent hours tramping through the forest and spreading the word within the local community.

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Many return daily to try and find Abi, a six-year-old sandy coloured brindle, who has been spayed and mirochipped and was wearing a muzzle at the time of her disappearance.

Mr Stuart Smith, of Woodbridge, said: “Abi has always run free and often takes off into the forest but has always come back to my calling or my whistle.

“On this occasion she did not return. I remained there for hours. I took my wife home and returned with a sleeping bag and spent the night in the car.

“I was too upset to sleep. I got up and called and whistled. I spent the next night in the car, had a night at home and then spent two more nights in the car. I put food down and even cooked sausages to get a good smell wafting around.”

Mr Stuart Smith, who also has a lurcher called Willow, has been overwhelmed by the kindness of others who have been scouring the forest in a bid to reunite him and his wife, Naomi, with Abi.

“At one stage there were as many as 20 people searching for her,” he said. “People have been absolutely incredible, I can't thank them enough. I started by putting posters up and contacted all the people we could think of.

“While out searching I have met other dog walkers and they have also contacted people they thought could help and put up posters in a number of villages.”

Volunteers have been out at early as 7am looking for Abi, while others have searched late into the night and posted messages on various internet sites.

The group has also received support from Dogs Lost in Lowestoft while soldiers from nearby Rock Barracks are also keeping a look out along with the local travelling community and the Tunstall and Rendlesham Off Road Group.

So far their attempts have been unsuccessful, although there have been two or three sightings - the most recent on Monday at Hatchley Barn in nearby Bromeswell.

Mr Stuart Smith said: “It is so out of character for Abi. She is a gentle friendly dog who loves people and other dogs.

“We miss her dearly and are just hoping that she returns to us safe and sound. She makes life worth living.”

There is a reward for Abi's safe return and anyone with information is urged to contact Mr Stuart Smith on 01394 382850 or 07740 462588.

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