After Days of Searching, Lost Dog Spotted Among Bracken in the Woods

Editor’s note: This post is a Care2 favorite. It was originally published on October 15, 2013. Enjoy!

UK couple Dorothy and Colin Richardson were walking with their dog Pip along the Torver Back Common in Coniston when an accident happened. Colin lost his footing, and in an instant, Pip’s retractable leash slipped from his hand. Pip was spooked, really spooked, and took off running into the woods.

Pip’s disappearance was devastating, and after hours of searching, the Richardsons set off to get help. Posters were placed throughout the area and an organisation called Dog Lost was brought in for support. They had an idea, a brilliant idea, on where to find reinforcements.

The Coniston Mountain Rescue Team, an all volunteer search and rescue squad founded in 1947, was alerted to Pip’s disappearance. It just so happened that they had been planning a training exercise the next day and were all too happy to set off in search of Pip on what was now day four of her disappearance. Searchers with this unit are often asked to put themselves in harm’s way to find lost hikers, particularly when dangerous weather sets in and hypothermia can quickly claim a life. Fortunately for them, and for Pip, October nights here are cold but not truly treacherous.

“Details were taken from the owner as to where and when the dog was last seen or heard, as well as Pipís personality and useful traits,” †a Coniston Mountain Rescue Team spokesperson said. “Squeaky toys and treats seemed high on the agenda as good searching tools.”

Pip is safe at last.

The team split into two, one on the high route and the other working the shore path below, with the aim of joining at a rendezvous point. The teams employed one of their best search techniques, the line search, in which members of the teams walk in a line with equal distance between each searcher. Though the rough terrain made this challenging at times, maintaining formation is critical to the integrity of such a mission.

“When we met up, there had been no sign of Pip, so we decided to return to the Land Rovers but to first carry out one last long line search covering the open ground above the tree line,” the†Coniston Mountain Rescue Team representative continues. “And then we struck gold!”

“One of the team members saw what he thought were cat eyes, but they were in fact Pipís eyes. Her lead had been snagged in the bracken so although she could run around, she could not actually go very far. The relief and sheer amazement that we had actually found her was felt by everyone involved in the search.”

“She was well, just cold and hungry. The very excited little dog emptied her bowels on one member as a show of appreciation, before being carried back to the vehicles nestled in a jacket and fed the occasional ‘Cheesy Bite’ and dog biscuit along the way.”

Pip has been reunited with her grateful family.

Story brought to you by the Harmony Fund international animal rescue charity.


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Jim Ven
Jim Ven5 months ago

thanks for the article.

Robert W.
Robert W.about a year ago

I am very happy that this dog was searched for and found, because with a restraint trailing many feet wrapped securely around the dogs neck would surely have ended very poorly for the helpless animal if not rescued.

Alexandra G.
Alexandra G.about a year ago

thanks for happy ending story :)

Nelson Baker
Nelson Bakerabout a year ago

Glad she was found.

Betty Kelly
Betty Kellyabout a year ago

Good searching job.

willian Miller
william Millerabout a year ago

so glad they were there to help

Shirley S.
Shirley S.about a year ago

Such a good organized search team!! Well done !! Lucky dog.

John chapman
John chapmanabout a year ago

One very lucky little dog.

JL A.about a year ago

worth a repeat

Christine Stewart
Christine Stewartabout a year ago

Thank you, rescuers!