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Community united in hunt for missing dog Benson
IT was definitely the longest walk he had ever had.
After disappearing on his daily walk lucky Benson found his way home after 16-and-a-half hours.
He limped through the door exhausted by his ordeal, to be reunited with his relieved owner on a journey which took him from the old golf course at Fleming Park, in Eastleigh, to his home in Chandler's Ford.
Louise Newman has told how the community joined forces, including online, to try and get her dog safely home.
She had been left frantic after Benson failed to return after he went off to the river as normal on their lunchtime walk at Fleming Park.
The three-year-old beagle crossed with a collie has never gone off for a long period of time so Louise thinks that he was chasing a squirrel and got disorientated.
The family searched and searched, contacted the police and the dog warden with no luck.
Through social networking his owners believe he was seen on the M3 hard shoulder at junction 13 shortly after he vanished.
Claire's family, her husband Danny, daughters Jasmine, 18, and Chelsie, 13, and son Jamie, 23, were out that night looking for him there.
A car stopped and the driver told them he had seen a dog running across the road in the other direction - he joined the search.
After a fruitless search in the dark, the family went home, but at 5.15am the next day Louise heard a cry and when she opened the door there was Benson.
His paws were severely blistered so he has been kept inside while they heal, but made his first trip back to the fields at Fleming Park this week.
Benson appears to have been chastened by his experience, keeping close to his owner.
Louise has even put pins in a map of where he was sighted to trace his journey back. She thanked everyone who had contributed to the search, both family, friends and strangers.
“He was trying to find his way home,” said Louise, 42.
“He's extremely lucky, there's not a mark on him, I don't know how he was on the M3 without getting run over.
“Give him his due he's cleverer than I thought.”
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