Posted: 08.04.19 at 21:28 by The Editor
Stamfordian Steve Morris' dogged determination helped him find runaway black labrador Murphy who was reunited with his grateful owner today.
Steve was out running with his wife Louise and brother Wayne yesterday lunchtime when he first spotted the lost dog, who had escaped from kennels while his owner Tina and her family, from Thurlby, were away for the weekend.
Steve told Stamford Nub News this evening: "We all live in Stamford and had headed out of town and were going into Greatford village when a dog appeared out of nowhere about 10 metres in front of us.
"He wasn't wearing a collar or lead and circled a parked car before walking off.
"The car had a dog blanket in it and our initial concern was that someone was in trouble and the dog had run off.
"Louise went towards the dog, but he bolted off across a field.
"All three of us followed him into the field to search and we met two men who asked us if we had seen a black dog...then the story about Murphy became clear.
"We looked for him for another hour, scouring the field, but we couldn't find him and went home."
The trio had spent more than three hours trying to track down Murphy, but even back in Stamford they couldn't shake off their concerns for the eight-year-old labrador.
"We are animal lovers and Louise and I have two Jack Russell terriers, Patch and Hollie.
"We posted on social media about having seen Murphy and I went out again later that night in the car to drive around Greatford and Wilsthorpe - where he'd also been sighted - but didn't see him."
This morning Steve headed out in the car again at 6.15am to look for Murphy before going to work and took an early lunch break to resume his search.
"It was strange, I was so determined to find him, I was sure I would.
"I was driving into Wilsthorpe and, incredibly, there he was. I got out of the car and called his name, but he walked off in the opposite direction. I didn't want to scare him by chasing after him and then a lady came up asking if it was Murphy - she was helping to look for him too - and we managed to keep him in a field and phoned his owner."
Tina's partner Kev Munslow arrived in double-quick time and trained gundog Murphy came over when he blew a whistle.
"It was fantastic to see the two of them reunited - they were both delighted to see each other. There were a few tears and cuddles. I patted Murphy and got a lick in return. It was an extremely happy ending."
Tina describes Steve as a 'perfect gentleman'.
"We are eternally grateful and absolutely overwhelmed by the support received by people like Steve, who didn't know us or Murphy.
"The number of hours he put in of his own time is totally staggering and an amazing example to all of us.
"He should be super proud of himself! What a good man."
It's not the first time Steve has rescued a runaway hound - he tracked down one of his own dogs when she went missing.
"I know what it feels like to lose your dog - it makes you sick to your stomach.
"Two years ago Hollie was spooked and escaped from doggy daycare. I spent hours searching and fortunately found her the next day," added Steve.
First image: Steve with Patch and Louise with Hollie
Second image: Murphy
Third image: Murphy minutes after being reunited with Kev