A teenager who reunited a woman with her poodle after it went missing in Northampton two weeks ago has been named a “hero” and “a real gentleman” by the relieved owner.
Belinda Collis Hill was left distraught when her six-year-old brown toy poodle Faith ran away while they were walking in Grange Park on May 23. But last Thursday (June 4) after a 12-day search, which included local groups and volunteer tracking dogs brought down from Kent, Faith was returned safe and sound by a teenage boy.
Mrs Collis Hill, from High Street Roade, said: “I’m still in a happy haze. I got the phone call in the afternoon and was shaking too much to drive and find them, so he said he would bring her over.
“Next thing I knew he came trotting up the street with her, still on her lead, and she jumped up into my arms. I completely collapsed with her onto the pavement.”
The teenager, called Callum Calver, managed to catch Faith near the park in Rickyard Walk after she ran away from a cyclist who had also recognised and tried to catch her.
She went missing when Mrs Collis Hill was walking her and her twin Buffy in the park and a bigger dog jumped out from a bush and startled them.
Mrs Collis Hill said: “Faith is a very timid dog, having suffered some problems when I took them both home from the rescue centre, and she just bolted, yanking the chain out of my hand. I tried to chase her but once she ran around the corner she was gone.
“I don’t have any children and my four rescue dogs are my life - Buffy was pining for her while she was gone.”
She launched a Facebook page to try to help find Faith and people from all over the region got in touch, before a stream of abusive comments led Mrs Collis Hill to remove it.
She said: “So many people got involved to try to help find her and I cannot thank them enough. A lady came from Kent with tracker dogs to help follow Faith and even stayed overnight in a camper van, and Northampton Lost & Found got involved too, among others.
“But Callum was the real hero and, being a dog-owner himself he said he knew how I must have felt. Whatever people say about teenagers, he was a lovely young man and a real gentleman.
“It was just incredible as I had been in the park myself a little while earlier.
“Grange Park is just a wonderful place with a community of wonderful people.”