let the dog out?
A midnight caller had killed Rachelle’s puppy parent dream
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!