A Stonehaven woman has spoken of her delight at being reunited with her beloved springer spaniel after an eight-day, 20-mile search aided by Angus gamekeepers.
Having spent 13 hours a day looking for Annie, heart-broken Aimee Hugil (18), of Rickarton, started to give up hope of finding her 17-month-old pup who disappeared during a grouse shoot at Clachnaben in Glen Dye.
Thankfully, she was finally reunited with Annie when gamekeepers started posting cross-county sightings of the far-travelled pooch on their Angus Glens Moorland Group page on Facebook.
The helpful posts by the estate workers and local residents enabled Aimee to track down the black and white spaniel, who is now recovering at home in Stonehaven after her 8-day ordeal.
Aimee said: “I am so happy that I finally have Annie back safe in my arms.
“For the full eight days I did not stop looking for her. I borrowed whistles, maps and lamps from everyone I knew.
“The Angus Glens Moorland Group was brilliant in helping me get the word around to gamekeepers and the general public about Annie being missing and they were all brilliant in helping to look for her.
“When she first went missing I was so sad, a little annoyed and also heartbroken. As the search went on I felt more and more hopeless that I would ever find her again.”
The search for Annie finally ended after she was sighted close to Birse Castle near Ballogie Estate in Lower Deeside. Aimee received a call from a male friend on the estate to say Annie was seen around and was heading towards his home.
Aimee continued, “Annie was spooked at first but ran straight up to me wagging her tail and quite relieved to be back with her mum!
“She is doing great after her adventure around the Angus Glens. She came back a little slim and her coat was matted but she is starting to look a lot better.
“She is slowly putting weight on and is as happy as ever to be back with her pals and in her bed. She has lost a lot of confidence but her kennel buddy Molly is helping her to get back on her feet.
“I’d like to put a massive shout out to all the gamekeepers and members of the public for keeping an eye out for Annie, lamping for her, for their texts and calls and spending time out walking just to help look for her.
“In particular gamekeepers from Glen Dye, Hunthill, Ballogie, Invermark, Millden and Gannochy.”
Angus Glens Moorland Group co-ordinator Lianne MacLennan said: “My husband is a Head Gamekeeper and we have 10 dogs all of which are a major part of our family.
“I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to lose one of them. I am so pleased that our AGMG page helped Annie be reunited with her owner. It’s lovely to see the likes, shares and comments come in and see the support of the whole community in a situation like this.”