QUIRKY WORLD ... ‘Homing sheepdog’ back after 390km journey

File photo of a sheepdog

ENGLAND: A sheepdog has turned up on his owners’ doorstep nearly two weeks after he went missing 390km away.

Pero stunned his owners Alan and Shan James by appearing at his home in Aberystwyth, Wales, after disappearing in Cumbria.

“He was literally on the doorstep, it’s very much a mystery for us how he arrived,” Shan James said.

“Some of us believe he walked it and others can’t believe he achieved such a task.”

Pero, a four-year-old working dog, was sent on a trial to a farm in Cockermouth in March but ran away across a field on April 8.

Alan James, 54, was amazed to find him waiting on the doorstep 12 days later.

The couple, who keep 14 other dogs on their sheep farm, have decided they are going to keep him at home.

“Alan went out and there was Pero on the doorstep. It was the last thing we expected,” said Shan James.

“He was very much happy to see us both, very excited jumping up and going round in circles.

“Pero is microchipped, so we were hoping we would get him back.

“But if somebody had found him, we would have had a knock on the door saying ‘your dog has been found’.

“He was in very good condition — he has been limping since but he’s back out running. He’s quite happy at home now.”

More miles on the clock

USA: A 12-year-old New York girl wound up running 16km extra after she got into the wrong road race.

LeeAdianez Rodriguez had registered for the 5km race that was part of Sunday’s Rochester Regional Health Flower City Challenge. She thought she was arriving late at the starting line when the race started, so she began running with the rest of the runners.

It turned out she was actually running with the half-marathoners on the 21km course and not in the 5km. Rodriquez says she realised about halfway through that she was in the wrong race but decided to finish.

She completed the half-marathon in 2:43:31.

Her mother became worried when her daughter wasn’t among the finishers of the 5km, but they were reunited when Rodriquez finished the half-marathon.

Prince the ventriloquist

ENGLAND: Prince Harry performed an act as a ventriloquist’s dummy at Queen Elizabeth’s 90th birthday party, it has been revealed.

The 31-year-old took to the stage for a short cabaret during the after-dinner entertainment at the celebration in Windsor Castle last week, Hello! magazine reported.

He was the ‘dummy’ for ventriloquist Nina Conti, daughter of actor Tom Conti, whose puppets include a deadpan monkey called Monk.

A source told Hello! that Harry was “genuinely brilliant” and must have been practising because his actions were in time with Conti’s words.

All the signs of a mayor

USA: State police say an upstate New York mayor illegally provided his village with 111 road signs belonging to the state department of transportation.

Frank Moracco, aged 60, has been charged with misconduct and petit larceny. Investigators say he is a sign shop foreman for the department. He is accused of stealing the signs and giving them to the Herkimer County village of Frankfort.

Village clerk Karlee Tamburro said Moracco will continue to serve as mayor. He is due in court on May 3.

Pumpkin seed palaver

ENGLAND: A horticulturist hopes to reap a rich harvest after being asked to nurture a £1,250 (€1,600) pumpkin seed.

Horticulture firm Thompson & Morgan bought the seed at a specialist auction in the hope it would produce the biggest pumpkin the world has seen.

Staff said the seed was about 5cm long and came from the biggest pumpkin seen so far — a 1,054kg specimen produced by a Swiss grower in 2014.

Now the firm has asked Matthew Oliver — a horticulturist who works at the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Garden Hyde Hall in Chelmsford, Essex — to turn the seed into record breaker.

Oliver said he had his sights set on an October 8 weigh-in. “The pressure to deliver is massive,” he said.

“I’m not sure whether it was a brave or stupid idea to take on this challenge, but I’ll give it my best shot.

“Let’s just say that my holiday plans will be on hold until after the October weigh-in.”

Thompson & Morgan horticultural director Paul Hansord bought the seed at a sale — beating the previous record giant pumpkin seed price of £1,171.

Hansord said a standard pack of 10 pumpkin seeds sold for as little as 99p but the chance to buy a potential record-breaker did not come along often.

He said a number of people asked to be given the chance to grow the seed and he was sure Oliver was the right choice.

“Matthew’s enthusiasm and devotion for pumpkins was evident,” he said. “He was absolutely thrilled when I delivered the news that the seed was his.”


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