TRAGIC Peggy Mangan's faithful dog Casper passed away just hours after her body had been found, her son Jon said today.
"It was like he delivered Mam home," he told Miriam O'Callaghan on RTE radio today.
"We were told one minute he was wagging his tail and then he took a turn for the worse."
He had stood vigil over his owner for days.
"He proved me wrong - I didn't think he was strong and he wasn't that fit," Jon added.
The pensioner had left her house to walk the faithful King Charles spaniel Casper four days earlier, never to return home - she died of hypothermia.
Volunteers found her body and Casper was standing watching over her when they found her - he died within two hours of starvation and dehydration.
He also said knowing that Peggy had not died alone was a huge help for the family - his dad, two sisters and extended family.
"It was such a comfort to know she was not alone," he said.
Peggy Mangan (65) was buried last week at Mount Argus Church in Dublin's Harold's Cross.
Casper's cremated remains were buried with her.
"They had spent alot of time together," Jon said today.
In a wide-ranging interview, her son paid tribute to the people of Finglas, Glasnevin and Ballymun who had contributed to the huge search for her.
"The people were amazing," he said. "Hundreds of people came out and the support was incredible.
"We really should do more for missing people."
He added that the family is setting up the Peggy Mangan Foundation although the charity is in its infancy - it will ensure that “her memory lives on and her passing will not be in vain”. The charity will help fund services for missing people as well as their families.
The Alzheimer's Society can be contacted at 1800 341 341.