AN EIGHT-YEAR-OLD Springer Spaniel jumped for joy when he was returned to his owners after surviving the floods in Limerick city, roaming the streets for two weeks and then being hit by a car.
As feet of water flowed in to Bertie and Mary Flannery’s Athlunkard Street home the dog called Grouse was rescued by the fire brigade from his kennel run.
He was safely placed on a wall away from the onrushing five feet of water but must have got scared. He disappeared.
The family looked all over the city for their beloved dog, as have Limerick Animal Welfare (LAW), who put up a notice on their Facebook page.
But with no sightings of Grouse in two weeks it was feared he drowned, sadly like a number of other dogs and horses. Although as a hunting dog the Flannerys held out hope as Grouse was well able to swim.
LAW; Noel Shinnors, a voluntary animal welfare inspector for after hours calls; and four animal lovers were instrumental in helping Grouse get back to his owners.
Last Saturday – two weeks after he went missing –Michaela Peters and Daniel Hassett witnessed a dog being hit on the Ennis Road.
Michaela said it was hit “very hard”. They checked on it, amazingly it was unhurt and it began to follow them back to their friend Alan Feeney’s home in Ashbrook.
Michaela, Daniel, Alan and his girlfriend Clare Burke are all animal lovers so they brought the dog into the house. Alan even popped out to buy five tins of dog food.
“He ate the five of them in two minutes. I’ve never seen a dog eat so quickly. He mustn’t have eaten in two weeks,” said Alan, who contacted Josephine Treacy of LAW.
She rang Noel, who couldn’t believe it when he went to meet Alan to pick up the dog.
“It’s an amazing coincidence because six or seven years ago I actually rehomed Grouse with Bertie. I called his name and he ran over to me straight away. I was delighted for the Flannerys. They are lovely people and after everything they have been through it is lovely that they have their dog back.
“It’s a miracle because not only did Grouse escape the flooding, he was hit by a car and was very thin from not eating for two weeks,” said Noel. He rang the Flannerys and after a night taking care of him brought Grouse out to their current accommodation. Grouse will stay in boarding kennels until the Flannerys get back home.
“He was jumping all over Bertie. It was great to see them reunited,” said Noel.
Mary Flannery wished to thank everybody who helped get Grouse back.
“Bertie was worried about him so we’re delighted. It went all over the world because my daughter works in London and all her friends were passing it on.
“We lost everything but we’ll get there. There is no point crying about it,” said Mrs Flannery.
And when they do get back to Athlunkard Street they will have one very lucky possession with them.