Dog owner gets ‘best Christmas present’ after being reunited with lost pet

A Christmas day stroll on Hampstead Heath nearly turned to tragedy for one dog owner after he was separated from his usually faithful mongrel Spike.

Oliver Woolnough of Rosebery Road, Muswell Hill, was on his way to his daughter’s Hampstead home for turkey and all the trimmings when he decided to take his 16 year-old pet for a walk on the Heath.

But, distracted by a lively Jack Russell pup which he was also taking for a stroll, Mr Woolnough lost sight of his beloved dog.

The 65 year-old combed the woods for two hours, but had to give up his search as night fell.

Luckily, two fellow Heath walkers spotted the lost dog and took the forlorn pet to Battersea Dogs Home, who used Spike’s microchip to reunite him with his owner the following day.

Mr Woolnough said: “He probably looked quite vulnerable.

“He used to be able to find his way across London. Once, he was waiting for me outside the Whittington hospital in Highgate and managed to find his way back to our home in Crouch End.

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“But I was more worried this time because he was getting old.”

He added: “There are a lot of concerned dog owners on the Heath – they act like a real community.

“I am really grateful to the walkers for finding him, I was so relieved when I was reunited with Spike.”