Missing puppy Maggie finds her way home after hundreds help the search along the A1 north of Grantham

Missing puppy Maggie.

Missing puppy Maggie.

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Maggie, the cockerpoo puppy who escaped through a catflap while on holiday in Foston at the weekend, found her way home this morning (Wednesday), following a trail of toys, clothes and food right back to house she went missing from.

Concern for Maggie was mounting yesterday, after she became stuck in the central reservation of the A1 at lunchtime. While she did eventually make it across, she was less lucky later in the afternoon and was struck by a car while trying to cross again.

Owner Julia Garbutt said: “As soon as she was sighted I jumped back in the car and drove from Huddersfield to get here as quick as I could. It was devastating to us to hear that she’d been hit, but had run away again.

“What I didn’t expect to see though were the huge numbers of people who turned out to help us search for her. At one point, we understand staff from Grantham North Services were coordinating sighting reports from their customers; and a member of staff even drove to Marston to follow-up a report for us. Staff from the Equestrian Centre were out helping us all afternoon too. I was simply lost for words by people’s kindness to us.”

Fading light meant that the search was abandoned late last night, but not before a scent trail of toys, clothing, bedding and food had been laid. And just after 8am this morning, while she was back out in the fields searching, neighbours called Julia with the news she had been waiting for.

She said: “She was spotted walking back up the track to Chapel Lane following the trail we’d put down for her. I’d walked Mickey, our other dog, up and down that lane yesterday so many times to lay a scent trail for her, I think I’ve worn out his pads, too!

“I rushed back to the house with Mickey, and while no one knew where she was hiding, as soon as she saw Mickey, she crawled out from the hedgerow and began wimpering. Then we all joined in!”

The family plans to take Maggie to the vet this morning to have her checked over, but are hopeful that the only injuries she has are superficial.

Julie said: “We would like to say a huge thank you to all the Journal’s readers, and the people who have been following us through Facebook. Without your help, we’re not convinced we’d have got our happy ending. The only ‘Incredible Journey’ adventure Maggie will be experiencing in future, will be watching it on DVD from her basket!”