Posted 2 months ago ago
A heartbroken family have been desperately searching for their beloved pet after she vanished almost a decade ago.
Rags the Terrier cross disappeared during a morning walk in Raven Hayes Woods, on September 2, 2011 - almost 10 years ago.
Her devastated owner has never given up searching for her precious pooch and has even travelled to Ireland to check out a potential sighting.
Now, as the 10 year anniversary approaches, Rag's owner Caroline Key, is praying for her girl's return as her other heartbroken dog Morwenna has fallen ill.
Recalling the gut-wrenching moment she realised Rags was gone to TeamDogs, the retired shepherd said: "We got Rags in 2004 when she was six months old and had her for about seven years. She was a stray and settled in brilliantly.
Rags was fantastic at agility (Image: Caroline Key)
"She was fantastic at agility and we had just come back from a competition and she had still got her show collar on when I took her for a walk in the field near our house.
"It was around 6.45am and she just went into the woods and when I called her to come home she didn't come back, that will be 10 years ago this September.
"I couldn't believe she wouldn't come back, I think if she could have, she would have."
Caroline believes Rags may have ventured off towards Frankley Services where campers had stopped off for some breakfast. She says that someone may have thought Rags was a stray and picked her up.
The 70-year-old added: "I think the campers were making breakfast and she smelt bacon and got picked up. We have done everything. We spent weeks combing the woods and I just posted her everywhere for two years, we even put her in the camping and caravanning magazine.
"I even went to Ireland to check out a sighting but I am sure Rags is still alive out there."
Despite Caroline's endless work to track down Rags she says it will never be enough and is continuously racked with guilt.
"I feel Desolate. Every time there is a dog dragged behind a car, chucked off a tower block, has fireworks tied to their neck and set off - I wonder," She said.
"One Christmas Day a blond terrier was killed on one of the roads down south. It took all day to find out it wasn't her. Then I was so relieved, then so guilty, because that was still somebody's dog.
"I feel desperately guilty, because I can't find her - whatever I have done, it isn't enough. I have really bad depression and anxiety and panic attacks.
"Seeing the distress of the others was almost unbearable."
She claims that her other dogs have been massively impacted by Rags' disappearance, with one of them even losing their voice.
Caroline added: "My lovely Cai lost all her confidence. She was the pack leader. She and Wenna barked on command, and I took them out to bark through the fields and woods for nights, when it was quiet, for weeks.
"If she had been caught or stuck, she would have barked back. Cai lost her voice and never got it back.
"I don't know if she is still alive, she would be over 17 now, but she must also have been in such distress, missing her family.
"The last grace we can give our companions is to make sure they leave this world in our arms, safe and supported by us, in no pain and I can't do that for her.
"It never ever gets any better, It doesn't go away. You don't get over it or put it behind you. It is like losing a limb - you work out a way of getting through life, but it is always there.
"The ache is always there. And then things come back to bite you - a place she would love, a glimpse of a dog that you have to look at twice, something someone says."
Caroline says her other dog Morwenna, who is a 15-year-old working Sheepdog, is desperately sad without Rags and would love nothing more for her to come home especially as she is currently poorly.
"I am sure Morwenna would get better if she saw Rags. I keep checking dog sites and people keep sending me look-a-likes that I check. The dog wardens have been brilliant as well as the rescue centres, but no one has found her," she said.
Rags (Image: Caroline Key)
Rags has a forum open on doglost.co.uk where numerous people have reported potential sightings of the Terrier Cross. Sadly none of them have turned out to be poor Rags.
Despite Rags being microchipped, her chip has never been scanned since she disappeared.
Caroline is now part of the fight for vets to check dog's microchips to make sure the animal is with the right owner and not lost or stolen.