let the dog out?

A mid­night caller had killed Rachelle’s puppy par­ent dream

Real People - - QUICK READS -

Snooz­ing on the sofa, the lazy lit­tle pup had me in stitches.

‘He turned his nose up at go­ing for a walk,’ I laughed to Mum, San­dra, 51.

We were babysit­ting Theo – a French bull­dog, be­long­ing to my sis­ter’s friend, Jo, 22.

She was off to a con­cert in Glas­gow in July 2016, and needed a dog-sit­ter.

‘I’ll do it!’ I’d squealed.

And the next day when I had to hand him back to Jo, I could barely let him go!

I’d al­ways wanted a dog, but no amount of nag­ging would per­suade my par­ents.

But then, in April this year, Mum got a new job, work­ing evenings.

‘Fancy a dog for Christ­mas?’ she asked. ‘I can look af­ter it dur­ing the day.’

I couldn’t be­lieve it. All my Christ­mases had come at once! I spent months brows­ing on­line, torn be­tween all the cute faces. Then up popped Stan­ley.

A blue Frenchie, neari­den­ti­cal to Theo.

I prob­a­bly wouldn’t have to take him for many walks, ei­ther. In Septem­ber, Mum al­lowed me to have my fluffy Christ­mas present early.

When we brought Stan­ley home, we didn’t let him out of our sight.

I even laid down with him un­til he fell asleep. A week later, I came down­stairs in the morn­ing ex­pect­ing to hear Stan­ley pot­ter­ing around in his pen...

But he wasn’t there. I rum­maged through his bed­ding, hop­ing to find a furry paw or tail, but noth­ing. Stan­ley was gone!

I sprinted up­stairs. ‘Where’s Stan­ley?’

I shouted into Mum’s room.

‘What do you mean?’ she said, look­ing out of the win­dow. Then her face dropped. ‘My car’s gone, too!’ she shrieked.

Some­one had been in the house.

They’d bro­ken the lock on the pa­tio door.

Shak­ing, we called the po­lice. Me and Dad, Ger­ard, 52, drove around for three hours search­ing the streets for Stan­ley.

No such luck. Ev­ery­one please share, I pleaded on Face­book. Dur­ing the night some­one stole my pup, Stan­ley!

Soon, it was up to 35,000 shares! The next day, the po­lice rang. Some­one had tipped them off about a neigh­bour of theirs tak­ing a new French bull­dog into their flat.

So, think­ing it might be ours, they’d gone round there to seize it.

The of­fi­cer asked me for Stan­ley’s mi­crochip num­ber.

‘Yes… yes,’ he re­peated, as I read out each digit. ‘It’s Stan­ley!’ he said.

An hour later, when the po­lice car pulled up, we nuz­zled Stan­ley for dear life.

De­spite find­ing him, po­lice haven’t made any ar­rests yet, nor has Mum’s car turned up.

Stan­ley now sleeps in my room, all safe and snug­gled up! Rachelle Smyth, 20, Glas­gow

Me and Stan­ley won’t be parted ever again!

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