Barley the miracle dog returns home to Colney Heath after nine days missing
PUBLISHED: 11:53 10 December 2009 | UPDATED: 14:47 06 May 2010
DOGGED devotion paid off for a man whose whippet was hit by a car and had been missing for nine days. Barley – described by his owner as a miracle dog – was close to death when Drew Wilson s ceaseless search finally paid off. Drew, 44, told how he found
DOGGED devotion paid off for a man whose whippet was hit by a car and had been missing for nine days.
Barley - described by his owner as a "miracle dog "- was close to death when Drew Wilson's ceaseless search finally paid off.
Drew, 44, told how he found his beloved pet with help from a woman who spotted him near his mother's home in Colney Heath.
Barley had been knocked down by a car on the A1M after he broke free from Drew's mother who had been dog-sitting him at her home in Colney Heath.
Drew, his wife Karin and son Jack, 19 had to go to a wedding in Germany so they left Barley and their lurcher Dexter with Mrs Margaret Wilson.
Drew, 44, who runs a picture framing shop and gallery in Station Approach, Harpenden, said: "Mum let the dogs off the lead in a wood but Barley was poked by another dog and ran off."
The family, who live at Luton Hoo, distributed posters and leaflets and told everyone they met about Barley during their searches in the area.
Then they struck lucky with a girl who took their phone number and got sight of Barley near the Hatfield junction of the A1M.
She phoned them and led them to the spot where she had seen Barley and tried to get hold of him.
Drew said: "She told us Barley just limped off into the bushes and wouldn't let her near him."
But Drew continued the search all night long and it was around 1am about four weeks ago when a bedraggled looking Barley responded to his calls and limped towards him in between the Hatfield and Colney Heath stretch of the A1M.
Drew said: "I picked him up and carried him for about a mile to my mum's house. He was skeletal and his leg was hanging off.
"My wife then came and we drove him to the Royal Vets College in Brookmans Park. He was so close to death he didn't even whimper."
It was touch and go but the vet college surgeons fought to save his life even though they had to amputate the injured leg.
Drew said: "The vets told me it was an old wound which was infected so he must have been hit almost straightaway. It was a miracle he had been through so much and lost so much weight but still he came through it."
Drew said Barley was as good as new and ran nearly as fast with three legs as he did before.
He said: "It just shows you should never give up. It was also wonderful to experience the kindness of strangers who couldn't do enough to help. It restores your faith in human nature.