AN ENGLISH visitor who left Ireland heartbroken after his pet was stolen had a happy return in recent days.
Londoner Michael O’Reilly said it was the happiest journey of his life when he returned to retrieve his border terrier Willow.
The 15-year-old pet had been stolen from his jeep after he parked at Herbertstown.
After hours frantically searching for Willow who is partially blind, Michael had been forced to set off for his ferry journey home, bereft and having given up all hope of finding her.
However, before leaving, he contacted the Limerick Leader newspaper in a last ditch effort to locate the dog.
Hours after he was stolen, Alison Dillon of Old Cork Road, Limerick was driving into the city.
She said: “It was pitch dark, rainy and windy and I saw this small dog in my headlights. She was walking down the middle of the road. I stopped and picked her up and brought her home straight away.
“I could see she was a very old dog and very confused. She was wet and cold.” Some days later, she read about Michael’s plight in the Limerick Leader.
“It had his number and I rang him straight away. He was delighted and I was thrilled to have such good news for him. All’s well that end’s well,” she said.
On getting the news, Michael booked the next available ferry for a happy reunion with his pet.
Michael said: “I’d like to thank Alison for her unbelievable kindness in saving Willow. It’s a miracle she was not run over.
“It was very callous for those who took Willow to dump the dog on the road. She is absolutely perfect. If only she could talk and tell me the story of what happened to her.”
Alison refused to accept a €500 reward Michael had offered for the safe return of Willow.
He said: “She was adamant she didn’t want it. I kept trying to give the money to her but she wouldn’t take it. It just shows you how lovely she is, a genuinely nice person.”
Alison said she has dogs and if they got lost, she’d hope somebody would do the same: “I’m absolutely delighted Michael is reunited with Willow.”
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved
More in this section