A WORCESTERSHIRE mum had her own Christmas miracle when she was reunited with her beloved dog – nine years after she went missing.

When mother-of-four Mrs Mae lost her Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Niamh, in May 2004, she thought she would never see her again.

So it came as a shock when she got a phone call last week telling her the dog had been found – 80 miles away.

The 47-year-old, who did not want her full name printed, told your Worcester News Niamh had escaped into the street from the garden at her home near Worcester, when her neighbour had taken out a fence panel and she was unable to find her.

“I know in my heart someone must have taken her,” she said. “She is such a friendly thing, she would walk right up to anyone.”

But last week, she received a phone call from Bath Cats and Dogs Home saying Niamh – now 12 years old – had been found wandering the streets in Salisbury.

“I didn’t think I’d ever see her again,” she said.

“But last week I got a phone call out of the blue telling me she’d been found and they’d identified her with her microchip.

She was found in Sailsbury but they took her to Bath so I could drive down and pick her up.

“I think she recognised me. She’s gone a little deaf and a little grey but otherwise she’s just the same.

“It was a very, very tearful occasion – even the girls from the dog’s home had tears in their eyes.”

She said no one had any idea what had happened to Niamh or how she ended up in Wiltshire.

“She was very thin but apart from that she’s in surprisingly good condition, especially considering she’s a 12-year-old dog,” she said “Someone has obviously been looking after her in the intervening years. I don’t know how long she’d been wandering but she must have been in someone’s care for at least some of those nine years.”

Mrs Mae said Niamh is now comfortably back at home and was getting on well with her other dog, seven-year-old Ferdy – her granddaughter.

“She was very tired for the first few days but now she’s much more like herself,” she said. “She’s getting on very well with my children as well – they were only at primary school when she went missing but they remember her and I think she remembers them. I keep telling them it’s a Christmas miracle.”