A tale of a missing dog named Aran took an incredible twist last week. After 15 year old collie Aran was reunited with his owners in Scotland thanks to the Leitrim Animal Welfare Centre, it amazingly transpired the owners had only recently got another dog from the Dogs Trust in Glasgow, a dog who had previously been homed by the Leitrim Animal Welfare centre.
The story began on September 20 with the discovery of an eldery Collie in Carrick-on-Shannon and he was later brought to the Leitrim Animal Welfare Centre in Drumkeerin where the centre’s manager Andrea Sharp said, “He instantly won our hearts. We thought him to be about 15 years old and his back legs were very stiff. He immediately settled in enjoying lying on a blanket in the sunshine that we luckily had that week.”
It was discovered that the Collie was chipped and the process of trying to track down his owners began immediately.
As Andrea explained, “The chip was registered to a name and address in Wales in the UK. There were three contact numbers, two of which were dead lines, but a lady answered when I called the third number.”
The progress being made to locate the owner came to a temporary end when it was realised the home was owned by somebody other the dog’s owner and after making contact with the estate agent who sold the house the search moved to Scotland.
As Andrea explained, “In a stroke of luck the agents had the contact details for the previous family who lived there, Di and Albie Roberts, who had since moved all the way up to Scotland. The agents contacted Di and Albie who instantly rang our centre.
“Di and Albie told us that they had been on holiday in Carrick-on-Shannon with the intention of spending ten days relaxing, cruising and fishing on the River Shannon. They had their 15 year old Collie, Aran, with them.
“They decided to stay in the boatyard for the Wednesday night and move on next day. After taking Aran for his walk before bed (slowly because of his age) they were just getting aboard and, taking their eyes off him for a couple of seconds, he disappeared. Panic set in and they scoured the boatyard and surrounding area until they were exhausted.
“They involved the local taxis, Gardai, vet, and all the other boatyards, so there were many people aware he was missing. As time went on they became more and more convinced that he had either fallen into the river or not survived the wet days and cold nights. They called in a diver on Friday to check he was not under the jetties or under a boat but still no sign of him.”
So distressed were they that Aran could not be found Di and Albie decided to cut their holiday short and returned to Scotland with Andrea commenting, “They said that people on the ferry must have wondered what was going on, two OAPs sitting in a corner sobbing. Going home without knowing what had happened to Aran was the worst thing.”
When they got the news that Aran had been found safely Di and Albie immediately returned to be reunited with Aran in Drumkeerin.
While the success of reuniting Aran with his owners is a great story in its own right, it takes an incredible as Andrea explained.
“Last Friday I telephoned Di and Albie and they told me that Aran had really perked up when he got home, but had since sadly passed away with liver failure. However, he was at home in Di’s arms when he passed away and it was very peaceful.
“Di then told me that just before Aran passed away she and Albie went to the Dogs Trust centre in Glasgow, Scotland, because they felt they needed another dog and a rescue dog at least gives another animal a chance.
“They chose to take on Ellie, another Collie, who Di told me ironically came from Ireland as a stray and was classed as needing one to one care to build her confidence.
“Imagine my amazement when I realised that Ellie came from our centre! Dogs Trust in Glasgow had taken her from us for rehoming a month previous and she had ended up with Di and Albie. It was as if Aran was guiding this to happen!
“When you think of the chain of events to reunite Aran with his owners any link could have broken and they would never have him back to spend his last days at home with those he loved and who loved him dearly.”