Published: 16:08, 14 January 2020
| Updated: 14:53, 15 January 2020
A much-loved family dog who went missing for a week has been found following an extensive search involving drones and dozens of volunteers.
After seven days of desperately looking for four-year-old Daisy, she finally hobbled into view in Thornden Wood, Herne Bay.
Video of the reunion recorded by Steve Bushell
The long-haired lurcher had broken her leg in two places and was dehydrated - but was at last back in the arms of owners Madeline Murphy and Paul Durkin.
The couple from Tankerton had feared their dog was dead after losing sight of her during a walk in Thornden Wood at about 11am on Sunday, January 5.
“Dogs like to go off to have a snuffle about and then come back – that’s what she’s always done and she walks there all the time,” said Madeline.
“But this time she didn’t come back. When we turned back to look for her we couldn’t find her.
“At first we didn’t believe she was lost because we’ve known other people with dogs who’ve gone off for eight or nine hours at a time, so we just thought all we had to do was hang about.”
That evening, volunteers from Missing Dogs and Strays in Thanet, equipped with infrared torches, joined the pair to search for Daisy.
Despite carrying out a number of further unsuccessful checks over the following days, Ms Murphy says she and Paul, 70, remained optimistic.
“But by Thursday I was starting to feel really upset and Paul was convinced that something terrible had happened to her,” she added.
Volunteers joined the family to search the wood each day, put up posters, lay scent trails and place wildlife cameras in the wood.
Madeline and Paul also contacted veterinary surgeries and dog wardens to find their beloved pooch.
On Sunday, January 12, they were joined by 40 volunteers as they scoured Thornden Wood. And, during the search, Daisy suddenly emerged from bracken lining one of the paths.
“Although people had spotted her, Paul didn’t really believe it,” Madeline continued. “I saw her go up to him and jump up and I was just really joyful.
“We think she must have been hunkered down somewhere and presumably she could smell food and hear Paul’s whistle.
“Everyone was just wonderful; we couldn’t believe the response we had on social media. It restores your faith in humanity.”
The rescue dog is set to go under the knife in Surrey today.
More by this authorJack Dyson