Monday 16 January 2017

Beloved dog found five years after vanishing from family home

Published 30/10/2016 | 22:06

James and Tootsie

A family were shocked and overwhelmed this week when their beloved dog was found - five years after going missing.

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Adelaide and Frankie McKay left their Belfast house to visit family during the summer of 2011 and left their Jack Russell terrier Tootsie in the back garden. When they came back less than an hour later, she was gone.

James and Tootsie
James and Tootsie

Adelaide and Frankie went to local pounds and vets, posted pictures online and put up posters without any luck. Eventually, they assumed she had died or found a new home.

“Frankie would keep showing me pictures of Jack Russell terriers that popped up on Lost and Found pages because she was my dog since I was 19 and I’d recognise her,” Adelaide told

“Then on Tuesday, he showed me this picture from a page and it was her.”

The picture of Tootsie popped up on the ‘Lost and Found Pets North Down/Ards’ Facebook page; Frankie sent the page a picture and they arranged to visit the vet at Garden Lodge where she was being kept.


Tootsie had been rescued from a lockup by a man who heard her whining inside. He brought her home but she would not eat or drink, so her took her to the vet and the lost and found page were informed.

Tootsie is now home with Adelaide, Frankie and their son James, now seven, and Adelaide says the family are delighted.

“We were just in disbelief when she turned up after all this time. It’s quite emotional to be honest,” Adelaide told “She’s gotten old and needs a lot of care.”

“She can’t see very well and her hips are bad, so she sort of does the old lady wiggle trying to sit down,” she laughed.

Tootsie and James, before Tootsie vanished
Tootsie and James, before Tootsie vanished

Tootsie needs a lot of help settling in, but seems to be happy to be back home with her family.

“She’s following me around, stuck to me like glue,” Adelaide told “We have another dog, Jake, and he’s been looking after her. He helps point her the right way since she can’t see, and he was minding her the other day when another dog was sniffing around. He’s sort of her babysitter.”

Adelaide and Frankie have no idea how Tootsie disappeared; the vets and her rescuer have no clue either, but Adelaide, Frankie and James are hoping she will stay put so they can take care of her.

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