Posted 3 months ago
A woman who slept in her car for weeks on end is yet to find the family's missing dog almost nine years after he vanished.
Yvonne Handley was devastated when her daughter's Yorkshire Terrier Louie escaped from their Kings Norton home back in September 2012.
Louie was just four years old when he vanished and despite numerous sightings of him moments after his escape Louie has never been seen since.
It's believed Louie fled after a neighbour and a group of men playing football on a field - who knew Louie - tried to catch him and return him home.
Yvonne heartbreakingly recalled how she and her family lived in their car for weeks in the Cradley Heath area in a bid to try to track down their beloved pet.
"It felt like someone had ripped my heart out. Louie was everything to me and we did everything together. That dog was like my grandchild," she said.
Louie (Image: Yvonne Handley)
"I was in a suit and heels and I just ran and I never went home at all that night. I don't think I went home for weeks, I lived in my car.
"We were camping out in the freezing cold in Cradley Heath after a potential sighting.
"I wanted to hand my notice in at work but I went on sick leave but even when I went back to work I was still going out to potential sightings. I've always wondered if I was looking in the wrong direction though.
"There has never been another sighting and we have even used scent dogs when I had a feeling about an area and they both stopped in the same place."
Yvonne says the family used to get their hopes up whenever a potential sighting arose. However, after numerous let-downs they have built up a barrier to only get excited if there is a positive markings match. She claims the family have also been subjected to sick hoaxes.
"You have this hope and then the next moment you just fall apart. We had this one hoax call and my daughter answered. They told her they had found Louie dead in the road and it made her sick.
"Every time a dog comes home we are so delighted for the dog and the owners but we can't seem to get anywhere with our own dog. It's like we are constantly grieving but there's no closure. When someone dies you are able to live with it but with this you can't deal with it.
"We are all over the place. People don't realise if they pick up a missing dog and decide to keep it what they are doing to its owners."
Despite Louie being missing for a number of years his microchip has never been scanned. He does have a doglost.co.uk page where people can record and flag potential sightings.