Amazing return of blind dog that was left for dead near Padstow
A DEAF and blind dog has been reunited with its worried owner – eight days after it first went missing on a beach near Padstow.
Border terrier Zola was found lying in the dunes on Constantine Bay by a member of the public over a week after owner Philippa Collett lost her walking on neighbouring Booby's Bay.
Mrs Collett, holidaying in the area with friends, searched the beach many times and even extended her stay in Cornwall in an attempt to find 14-year-old Zola.
Seven days after losing her pet, Mrs Collett left Cornwall believing all hope was lost.
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"We had given up hope of finding her again. (We thought) she would not be able to find food or water and we thought she had been washed out to sea," Mrs Collett said.
"We were devastated to have to leave Cornwall without her."
A day after Mrs Collett returned home, Zola was found by a member of the public whimpering in the dunes and taken straight to Penmellyn Vets in Padstow and St Merryn Surgery for assessment.
An emergency examination revealed Zola was dehydrated, covered in maggots and suffering from a chest infection and the terrier was moved to St Columb Veterinary Hospital for treatment.
Her survival staggered veterinary staff, especially as Zola is both deaf and blind and is the equivalent of 72 years old in human years.
"By the time she was found Zola was very weak and went without food or clean water for eight whole days," veterinary surgeon Anna Beber said.
"She has also been walking very far and the weather was very poor during that week, so it's remarkable how she survived and shows how tough those little dogs are."
Luckily Mrs Collett had left a message on the Penmellyn lost and found board so the surgery was delighted to be able to deliver the good news.
After five days in hospital, Zola began responding to medication and shortly after she was collected by Mrs Collett's daughter-in-law.
"Despite being completely blind and deaf, Zola could smell her and was delighted, wagging and running around," Mrs Beber said.
Together they made the long journey back to Suffolk and Zola was reunited with Mrs Collett, who was overjoyed at the return of her pet.