The owner of a dog missing in the Perthshire hills for a week has said it “just feels like a miracle” to have her back.
Rachael Nixon lost sight of her cockapoo Ester after slipping while climbing Ben Chonzie last Tuesday.
The two-year old dog was found cowering on a farm more than 12 miles away by a wildlife ranger.
Rachel said that she and her family had spent another fruitless day on the Munro searching for her pet and were heading to a coffee shop when she got a voicemail with the good news.
Despite losing sight of Ester on the south side of the hill the pooch had travelled north, finishing up on a farm on the banks of Loch Tay.
She said: “I got a voicemail message at about 11.30am – at that time we were up the Munro having a barbecue with bacon and pork to try an lure her in – and we were driving down when I got it.
“It was an English man who introduced himself and gave a number and address, before adding ‘I have your dog’. I just screamed – my stepdad was driving with his friend in the front and they panicked and thought we’d hit something.”
She said Ester had been spotted by wildlife ranger Angus Broad, who recognised the brown and white dog from the story in Monday’s Courier.
“She was found on Claggan farm at Ardtalnaig – it’s quite a bit away,” said Rachael.
“She was seen by a guy called Angus, who works on the farm. He knew from the Courier that her name was Ester and was shouting it but she wouldn’t come towards him so he got his dogs to bring her in closer and he got hold of her.
“It was an hour drive to go and get her – it felt like the longest drive ever.
“We took her straight to the vets as she had sore bits from where her harness was on. I thought I would get her back and she’s need lifesaving surgery or be missing a paw or something terrible so she’s done really well.
“I’m just so relieved to have her back, it doesn’t feel real. I don’t want to see another hill this year.”