Blaze reunited with ecstatic owner

AFTER five weeks of searching Blaze the missing Labrador who touched the hearts of the people of Kilkenny has been found.

A huge online campaign, postering, media appeals and searches of every corner of the city yielded nothing. There were plenty of sightings as people tried to help find Blaze and reunite him with his distraught owners but they all proved fruitless.

Tanya Tatten who helped to co ordinate the search said that at one stage there were 11 dogs fitting Blaze’s description roaming the streets and urged dog owners to get a collar and tag their dogs.

“Things got very hectic and there were a lot of false alarms. Every day was a rollercoaster but we kept looking. I can’t believe that we have found him,” she said. A local psychic offered to help and predicted that Blaze would be found within six weeks safe and well and having been taken care of by another loving dog owner.

After five weeks and one day hopes had almost faded when the unbelievable happened. Blaze’s owner got a phone call from a lady living in Carlow who had rescued Blaze three weeks earlier from close to St Luke’s Hospital. Deirdre Fitzgerald from Bagenelstown was at the hospital three weeks ago when she met Blaze. “He had an ear and eye infection, mange and was very skinny and week. She looked around to see if there was anyone with him but knew by the look of him that he was very much alone,” said Tanya.

“She said to herself if he gets into the boot of the car I’ll take him and if he doesn’t I won’t. She opened the boot and he tried to get in but couldn’t because he was so week so she decided to take him home,” she added.

Blaze was nursed back to full health and became firm friends with Deirdre’s German Shepherd, Kai. Yesterday Deirdre returned to St Luke’s for a hospital appointment. Her partner, Sam James popped into the The Sycamores Stores for a newspaper and saw a poster for Blaze whom he instantly recognised as the dog they had taken in.

Less than 24 hours later and after tears on both sides as Blaze left his new owners the much-loved dog is at home with his owner Caroline Hanlon at The Sycamores. “Blaze has been blessed to be cared for by such a lovely couple, he’s a very lucky old boy. He is now home with his own family and to say Caroline is over the moon would be an understatement. There is a message here to never give up hope. And a great big thanks to everyone for all the help and support it is so wonderful that the persistence has finally paid off,” added Tanya.