herald

Saturday 7 December 2019

Roy the rover returns - collie who stood by owner is found

Beloved collie Roy is now back with Paul O’Hanlon and his family after going missing for two weeks
Beloved collie Roy is now back with Paul O’Hanlon and his family after going missing for two weeks

A two-week search for a faithful dog that once refused to leave his master's side after an accident ended in delight when he was found safe.

The O'Hanlons searched more than 600km for their beloved collie Roy after he ran off from his home in Omeath, Co Louth, after being spooked by a firework on Halloween week.

Roy was hailed a hero five years ago after he refused to leave the side of owner Francis O'Hanlon when the quad bike he was driving overturned and trapped him underneath for four hours.

Hope

Unsurprisingly, the family of seven was devastated when he vanished and their anxiety worsened with every day that passed without Roy.

"We were just gutted and so close to giving up hope," said Francis's son Paul.

"We live up the mountains in Omeath and Roy has been with us 10 years, since he was a puppy.

"He's much more than a pet to us - he's part of this family.

"Roy was out farming with dad when a firework went off and spooked the dog, who ran off. After a day or so, we put up posters and launched a campaign to try and find him.

"Dad was devastated. About five years ago, Roy was with dad rounding up sheep and the quad toppled over, trapping dad underneath, leaving him with a broken collar bone and ribs.

"Roy could get out but he refused to leave dad's side until a hill walker noticed them some four hours later.

"As the weeks passed, we were kind of giving up hope, and then we got a call from a farmer in Ravensdale about a dog like Roy who was with his cattle.

"When we arrived, we were shouting his name but he wasn't reacting, but as we got closer, he recognised us.

"He came bounding over and it was just pandemonium. He rolled over straight away looking for belly rubs and sure we just all cried. It was so emotional."

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