‘Unbelievable’ saga as dog leads owner on madcap chase around two villages...

A little dog became caught up in a truly big adventure after swimming the river between Instow and Appledore.

Pedigree miniature poodle Bobby Bell led exhausted owner Jim Bell a merry dance around both villages before almost being hit by a car and ending up stuck under its wheel.

The saga began when Jim realised seven-year-old Bobby - who is really his wife Joanne's dog - had disappeared while they were at the Royal Marines camp end of Instow beach.

After a lengthy search he found him at the other end of the village, running across the mudflats and tried calling him back.

"I think my voice was reverberating off the quay wall at Appledore, as he just ran down to the river and dived in," said a bemused Jim, who had to jump into his car and drive around.

People at Appledore Quay tried to catch him but he ran along the mud to Babcock and by the time Jim had followed the direction from passersby Bob had last been spotted on the 'top road' heading back into the village.

Jim alerted the family vets at Whitton Lodge in Northam before heading back to Appledore where his heart leapt into his mouth when he came across Bobby underneath a car in the middle of the road.

The lady driver was worried she had hit him, but it seems he had a narrow escape, although he had also climbed behind the front wheel and refused to come out.

A good Samaritan jacked up the car to release him and with the arrival of two Whitton vets, the saga was over.

Incredibly, Bobby seemed completely uninjured.

"I picked him up and he wouldn't leave me then," Jim said.

"He was soaking wet, still wearing his coat and he stank of muddy water. I was absolutely exhausted when we got back. "Running is not something I have ever liked to do and it was unbelievable, because people kept saying 'oh, we've just seen him'.

"A massive thank you to all the people that helped, because there was a lot of them."

Joanne said Bobby was 'her rock' and added: "We hope it never repeats itself. He never goes in the water and won't even paddle."

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