By ANDY DOLAN
Rover's return: Pat Oates (pictured with relatives) was stunned when she received a call saying her beloved Staffordshire bull terrier, T-Bone, had been found riding the Birmingham City Centre to Solihull route
When Pat Oates's dog vanished from the driveway five years ago she soon gave up hope of seeing the pet again.
As the days went by without any sighting of seven-year-old T-Bone, Miss Oates concluded the Staffordshire bull terrier had been stolen.
So she was astonished and overjoyed to be told last week that the dog had been found five years on – riding on her local bus.
Home again: Pat Oates, from Solihull, West Midlands is delighted to have T-Bone back. Right, she holds the poster after her pet went missing in 2006 - when she feared T-Bone had been stolen to order by a callous gang looking to use him as a ferocious weapon
The bus driver took the animal to a local veterinary surgery, where staff were able to reunite Miss Oates with her long-lost pet, now aged 12, after scanning his microchip.
Yesterday Miss Oates, 48, a delivery driver, said: 'We couldn't believe it when we got the phone call. I thought the vet was winding me up. I broke down crying. I wanted to get there as soon as I could.
'He vanished from the driveway in 2006. We put up posters and made some appeals in the press, but didn't have any luck.
'T-Bone is like one of our children. When he went missing, I couldn't sleep - it was a nightmare. The whole family was upset.
'We're over the moon to have him back, we thought he was gone for good.'
The mother-of-three, who lives with partner Tony Wellington, 50, near Solihull, West Midlands, said it was a mystery how the dog came to be travelling on the number 37 bus, operated by Travel West Midlands. The bus travels between Birmingham City Centre and Solihull.
But she said it was no surprise he had been found on a bus, as the dog always enjoyed going on car journeys with the family.
She added: 'No one saw who T-Bone was with. We will try to see if there's CCTV on the bus, but the trouble is the person could claim they'd only just picked him up.'
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
It's a doggone miracle: Family's shock as pet pooch stolen five years ago is found... riding a No.37 bus
By ANDY DOLAN