Havoc hit the Cotswolds in September when salon owner Luisa’s tiny hairless Chi-chi (chihuahua cross hairless chinese crested) escaped from her Malmesbury home and set off on a 9 day adventure which would attract nationwide media attention.
Lola had shot out of the front door when a neighbour popped round on a Saturday afternoon, and was last seen heading into the locked grounds of the Dyson factory which was closed for the weekend.
Local searches proved fruitless and the wanderer was still at large, roaming the wiltshire countryside while family and friends scoured endless fields and villages. We could not think of a less well equipped dog – hairless, tiny and extremely timid, we soon began to fear the worst.
On Wednesday the lovely Jenny from Kent with her wonderful tracker dog Tiga arrived for a 9 hour session tracking through the area, picking up Lola’s scent and marking out an area where she was likely to be.
During these few days, social media interest had boomed and a friend of a friend who had lost and found her own dog with the help of facebook, created a facebook page for Lola which attracted hundreds of followers within hours and a huge campaign of awareness began.
Late Friday evening there was a sighting of Lola running along the road in her yellow T shirt, reported in nearby Brokenborough village. Luisa and friends dashed out to search only to be delighted that around 30 local residents were already in situ, combing through the area and trying to tempt Lola out of her hiding place with tasty treats.
Shortly before midnight the search was called off, only to be resumed several times over the weekend with different sightings around the village. But Lola was always one step ahead. We had been advised that she would probably be unlikely to come to humans at this point as her survival instinct would have kicked in which would make her very wary of everyone and everything.
Then on Monday the call we had all been waiting for happened – Lola had been caught in nearby Shipton Moyne – in the middle of a set for the photoshoot of the new Laura Ashley catalogue!!
After a medical check by vet Cyril from the George vets in Tetbury, Lola was given a clean bill of health, followed by a bath, a clean T shirt, plenty of food and lots of TLC.
Many thanks to everyone who looked for her and all the clients who were calling to send their best wishes and who sent gifts on her safe return – we were overwhelmed by the community spirit in our area.
Local reporters caught wind of the story and after interviews and visits from a photographer Lola made front page of the Western Daily Press, and a feature in the London Metro, Daily Telegraph, Nigerian Daily News and in comedian Rhod Gilbert’s hilarious weekly podcast. Our very own Cherish celebrity pet!