Llanelli Star - - FRONT PAGE - Robert Dalling @RobertDall­ing [email protected]­line.co.uk 01554 700811

A PUPPY who left his owner heart­bro­ken af­ter it went miss­ing from his home nine years ago has in­cred­i­bly re­turned home.

In July 2010 Rob Smith re­ceived a tele­phone call which left him com­pletely heart­bro­ken.

He was en­joy­ing a day out at Ffos Las Race­course when his mother called him to say Buster, his black Labrador puppy, had gone miss­ing from their gar­den.

He rushed home im­me­di­ately, and what fol­lowed over the next fortnight was a search across the streets of Llanelli to try to track down his puppy.

He had the help of a small army of peo­ple who all re­sponded to a so­cial me­dia ap­peal to help find him, but even­tu­ally had to ac­cept he was gone.

That was un­til he re­ceived a phone call from the Vet­s4Pets in Trostre Re­tail Park, Llanelli, which left him com­pletely stunned.

The 39-year-old, of Swansea Road in Llanelli, who works in a book­mak­ers, said: “I was in work do­ing a 12-hour shift and I re­ceived a call from the vets to tell me they had Buster.

“My legs were like jelly and I burst into tears.

“I just could not be­lieve it. I asked if it was Buster and the vets said ‘that’s what we have on the papers’.

“As soon as I got to the vets and saw him he pounced on me and started lick­ing me to death. I burst into tears.

“Af­ter all this time, I never thought I’d see him again.”

Re­call­ing the day he lost Buster, Mr Smith said: “I re­mem­ber the day vividly. I was hav­ing a day out at Ffos Las Race­course and I had a phone call from my mother to say the dog had gone miss­ing.

“I came straight back home and went round half of Llanelli look­ing.

“I must have been look­ing for two weeks then had to ac­cept he had been stolen and he was gone.

“I have al­ways thought about him, and all this time he has been right un­der my nose. The vets said he had been in Kid­welly.”

There was one very im­por­tant thing that Mr Smith did be­fore he lost Buster that even­tu­ally led the two to be re­united.

“His mi­crochip was scanned and it led him back to me,” Mr Smith said.

“It’s all a mys­tery re­gard­ing where he has been, and there are ques­tions I have that will never be an­swered, but I have got him back, and that’s the main thing.

“I’m just so glad I got him chipped and that I’ve got the same mo­bile num­ber as all those years ago!”

Mr Smith said his pet had been well looked af­ter, and thanked Vet­s4Pets for ev­ery­thing they had done.

In an un­likely twist of fate, Buster go­ing miss­ing is how Mr Smith met his fi­ancée, Sa­man­tha, who is mother to his two chil­dren Ella Louise and Nia Grace.

“Sa­man­tha re­sponded to my ap­peal for help on Face­book when Buster went miss­ing, mes­sag­ing me ask­ing if I needed help look­ing for him,” Mr Smith said.

“We’ve now got two beau­ti­ful daugh­ters to­gether and she’s my fi­ancée, and we would not have met if he had not gone miss­ing.”

Pic­ture: Jonathan My­ers

Rob Smith with his fi­ancee Sa­man­tha Owen and Buster the dog.

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