Even with useful microchipping technology, finding lost dogs can be a huge challenge. A scared dog’s instinct is to run, and a plethora of new smells can overwhelm them and lead them astray. There’s also the possibility of a lost dog being stolen or even taken in as a perceived act of charity.
Crumpet, a Jack Russell Terrier, was just a puppy when she vanished from her own garden in Dorset. Her mom, Sarah Covell, went to check on the horses in an adjoining yard, and when she returned, Crumpet was gone. This was back in October 2010.
Incredibly, an emergency vet called Covell with the news that Crumpet had been found… On June 12, 2021: nearly 11 years after she had gone missing. Covell told Daily Mail:
“My reaction to getting the call [to say she had been found] was slight disbelief to be honest.”
When Crumpet Vanished
Crumpet had only been with her family for about 3 months when she disappeared. Since it wasn’t really in Crumpet’s nature to flee, Covell does wonder if maybe someone stole the puppy that day.
“It would have been very unusual for Crumpet to slip out, she had never done it before and she got very attached to my older dog, who was sort of mothering her and they just went around together. They were like a little twosome. So it was very unlike her to have wandered off, but she was very friendly and I probably wouldn’t have heard if anyone came up my drive.”
The family did everything they could to find their poor missing puppy, including offering a reward for her return. Somehow it seemed Crumpet had just vanished into thin air.
“We went everywhere, I mean literally everywhere. We started driving around, we went to the village, we went down the valleys, that week we made flyers, put them up and I got hold of the Dogs Lost lady. Then I got on to my microchip company and the vets and everybody. And nothing, absolutely nothing, she just vanished.”
Covell also felt sad for her two daughters, who loved the little dog and picked her up not long before her disappearance.
“The girls were really upset because we went to choose her and two weeks later we went to pick her up. I felt really guilty she wasn’t with me.”
Familiar After Over A Decade
Crumpet was found on a golf course in Poole Quay in June, and a concerned citizen brought her to a vet. Because her microchip was registered to her original family, they were able to get in touch with Covell.
“It is a bit miraculous that she’s come back in to our lives and every morning we’re like wow, she’s still here. So it is a bit weird, but it’s lovely. Every day we’re thinking it’s lovely that she’s here, it’s lovely that we’ve got her. We didn’t even know if we would recognise her, knowing that 11 years had gone by.”
Even after most of her life away, Crumpet still recognized her first family. She looked different with age and everything she’d been through, but they knew her right away too.
“Obviously as soon as we saw her when she came out to us, there she was wiggling around and wagging her tail. We were like ‘Ooh yeah! That’s definitely her!’ but obviously she looks very different from when she was a puppy.”
Making Up For Lost Time
By the time she came back into their lives, Crumpet had clearly been through it. She wasn’t in great physical shape. Her family believes she was used for breeding and then abandoned.
“She’s obviously had puppies and she needs quite a lot of medical work now, it doesn’t look like she’s ever seen a vet.”
Crumpet also had severe ear infections, with massive growths in both. These infections left her without her hearing.
“She had an operation on Monday and they said she is completely deaf, poor little thing. If she was taken to the vets earlier, she definitely wouldn’t be deaf now.”
It seemed to everyone that Crumpet was neglected by whoever had her during this time.
“I think she’s been neglected, it’s criminal they’ve left her ears like that because that is easily solved. She’s going to have to be on steroids now for the rest of her life.”
Fortunately, she is now surrounded by love and getting the medical attention she needs.
Update Your Pets’ Microchip Details!
As many who have experienced similar devastating separations and miraculous reunions with their missing dogs would agree, this story underlines the importance of microchipping your pets. Covell said:
“It’s a very good lesson for anybody – to get your dog microchipped and keep the details up to date. It’s one of those crazy things, you never know.”
Make sure your dogs’ microchips are registered, and the details are correct and up to date! Finding lost dogs isn’t easy, but it certainly is possible, even after 11 years.