*Update: Since this post was published Cookie the cockapoo has now been returned to Caroline. As you can imagine she is overjoyed!*
On the afternoon of Friday 28th September, Caroline Harrison’s gentle, friendly cockapoo, Cookie, went missing from her home in Bishopston, Bristol.
Since that first terrible afternoon that she discovered the 7-year old golden cockapoo was missing, the mum-of-two has spent almost the whole 3 weeks and 3 days searching for her.
Caroline has sent countless emails, put up over hundreds of posters citywide, posted and searched on Facebook, Nextdoor and all the lost pet groups, visited traveller sites and contacted vets and supermarkets across the city.
She has spent hours answering messages, checking every found dog report, desperate to find Cookie.
On the afternoon that she went missing, Cookie had just had a bath so was in the back garden of their house on Bishop Road so she could dry. Caroline and her husband were unloading shopping from their car and had left the back gate open as they did this.
Not realising Cookie had gone into the little back lane directly behind their house, Caroline’s husband had shut the gate. When Caroline went outside a short time later to bring her back inside she found that Cookie wasn’t there which was unusual; Cookie never wandered away.
Caroline checked Kings Drive in case she had ventured down the lane (although Cookie had never done this before) thinking that maybe Cookie had chased a cat or seen a dog. However there was no sign of her.
Caroline and her family frantically searched the area that evening, calling Cookie’s name. But she didn’t come. She thought that maybe someone had seen her in the lane, thought she was lost so taken her to the vet to be scanned. But no one called.
“I was terribly worried about her – she has no road sense – but in my heart I knew she wouldn’t wander off – I was at home and she never strayed far from me, we had a really strong bond. I hardly slept that night and got up early. The nightmare began then and I am still living it everyday. Is she being looked after? Is she hungry and cold? Is anyone hurting her? Is she outside in a cage or tied up? Has she been used as dog bait in a fight?”
Because there have been no sightings of Cookie, Caroline realises that she has probably been stolen, possibly for breeding purposes as cockapoo puppies are worth a lot of money.
However, Cookie has been spayed which the person/people who took her might not have realised.
Caroline and her family have raised a £1,000 reward for the safe return of Cookie. If someone has Cookie they just need to take her to a vet, say they found her and collect the money.
No questions will be asked and the matter will not be followed up; Caroline just wants Cookie home.
Caroline and her family have also set up a facebook group called Find Cookie from Bristol where people can share information.
Although a great many good people across Bristol and beyond have joined in the search for Cookie, unfortunately Caroline has had to deal with the lowest of the low, too.
She has had people phoning her claiming they know where Cookie is and asking for money by bank transfer for information. When Caroline has refused they have threatened to take Cookie to the dog fighters to use as bait.
Even yesterday Caroline received a call from a man claiming he knew who had Cookie. He gave her a name and phone number, not wanting any money and for the first time since Cookie’s disappearance Caroline felt hopeful. She spent all afternoon following this lead together with the police only to find out it was a hoax.
Life for Caroline since Cookie was stolen has been nothing short of a nightmare. “I feel exhausted mentally and physically, I have lost half a stone (I was slim already) I have been ill twice requiring antibiotics.
“I have cried everyday – I probably cry a couple of times a year normally. I am full of many emotions – sadness, anger, confusion, worry, guilt, fear. I can only say it is one if the worst 3 weeks of my life – in the past I have had testing times – this is right there at the top of the list.”
Caroline will not stop searching for Cookie but she is struggling.
“One of my worst fears is that I will never find out what happened to Cookie. She was an important part of our family and my daily life. Suddenly she is gone.”
If you are reading this post you will know that the more Cookie’s story is shared, the greater the chance that she will be found. Someone out there knows something. Please share this post and help bring Cookie back to Caroline.
You can also contact Caroline on 0797 483 4004.