A COUPLE left distraught when their dog went missing for four days during a holiday in the lonely surroundings of the Lake District were overjoyed when he was found.

Colin and Dorothy Richardson, of Dunkirk Drive, Norton, near Worcester, were distraught when five-year-old Jack Russell Pip disappeared during a walk on Torver Back Common, near Coniston, earlier this month.

Mr Richardson was walking above Coniston Water, west of Lake Windermere, when he slipped over, spooking Pip, who ran off with her extendable lead.

But after four days of searching and putting up posters, the anxious couple contacted the Dog Lost organisation, which recommended they contact Coniston Mountain Rescue Team. Although the team were unable to go out specially to find Pip, they agreed to incorporate searching for her into a training exercise.

Armed with squeaky toys and dog treats, the team searched the area and eventually found the pooch when one member saw the light catch her eyes.

Mrs Richardson said she and her husband were extremely grateful to everyone who had helped in the search for their precious pet.

“We really feared the worst,” she said. “We were convinced we were going to be driving back without her, which was so traumatic.

“When someone rang to tell me he had her in his arms I just couldn’t speak.”

A spokesman for the mountain rescue team said Pip was cold and hungry, but unhurt.

“One of the team members saw what he thought were ‘cat’s eyes’, but were in fact, Pip’s eyes,” he said.

“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 was felt by everyone involved in the search.”

Mr and Mrs Richardson, both aged 70, were staying at Coniston Park Coppice Caravan Club when their pet went missing and said they were “extremely impressed by the community spirit of everyone who helped us search”.

They plan to make donations to both Dog Lost and Coniston Mountain Rescue Team as thanks for their work rescuing Pip.