A dog which survived six freezing nights trapped between a stack of hay bales was back with her owners today – after being rescued by a herd of COWS.
The owners of border collie Harley presumed she was dead after a week missing in temperatures as low as -5 degrees C.
But Leyonee Donald, 33, and her sons Jamie, two, and Beau, four, were stunned when their granddad John Forbes found Harley after some help from his inquisitive cows.
Leyonee, who lives in Potterton, just outside Aberdeen, Scotland, said: “We were staying up with my parents and Harley had gone wandering.
“I’d left the back door open, but she never returned and when we woke up on the Thursday morning she still wasn’t there and that’s when the panic set in because she hadn’t done that before.
“We called the police and appealed on Facebook for people to look for her, while we looked around the farm and beyond.”
After spending nearly a week searching the countryside around Buckie in Moray, Scotland, Leyonee had given up hope of ever seeing six-year-old Harley again until she received a welcome phone call from her father.
Leyonee, who is married to offshore worker Ross, said the phone call came out of the blue.
She said: “We had been through all the emotions – guilt for losing her, then anger at her for running away – as it was like looking for a needle in a haystack.
“Our two-year-old, Jamie, he’s a dog lover and the first thing he would say every time he opened the door was ‘has Granda found Harley yet?’
“By Tuesday morning it was getting a bit stressful so me and the kids were coming back through to Aberdeen when all of a sudden my father called to ask where we were.
“My mum was with us and he said to her ‘does she not want to come back and pick up the dog then?’ and we were like, ‘the dog? Where?’.
“So we rushed back, and there she was. She’d got herself on top of a large stack of hay bales and fallen through a hole which had taken her right down to the bottom and she was trapped.
“My dad had found her while he was seeing his cows on Tuesday morning. They were really restless and mooing a lot.
“Animals have amazing instincts and they were all pointing towards the hay bales so my dad thought Harley might be around there and started shouting for her.
“He heard this tiny little bark and he then realised Harley was trapped between the bales.
“The annoying thing, was that my father and I had both been around that area a number of times shouting on her, but she doesn’t really bark.
“Plus if she was making any noise it would have possibly been muffled by the bales.”
Harley was given the all clear after a quick check-up at the vets and, once taken home, was treated to her favourite slap-up meal – roast chicken with gravy.
Leyonee, who works as a zumba fitness instructor, said: “We immediately took her to the vets where they said although she was dehydrated, she was perfectly fine.
“She didn’t even have a mark on her from the fall.
“We took her home and she was given roast chicken and gravy as her first meal because we wanted to spoil her.
“She’s just happy to be with company and she’s been doing a lot of sleeping and drinking a lot of water.
“I’ve since taken my mum to the train station and that was the first time Harley had been left alone since the incident and she was crying when I came back, but apart from that, she’s been fine.
“The boys are also just really chuffed now that she’s back home.”