She came home a winner.
Dog lovers Paula Closier and her husband Peter were terribly worried after Bonnie, their 5-year-old beagle mix, escaped from their yard on Sunday, July 10, the BBC reported. Paula was especially upset because they live near a main road and feared that Bonnie might get hit by a car.
“Bonnie used to be a street dog and we were so worried she wouldn't have known to come back,” she told the BBC.
The couple, along with their two daughters and neighbors, searched all over their West Sussex, England, neighborhood to find the missing dog. They called veterinarians, the police and animal shelters in the area to try and locate poor Bonnie but she was nowhere to be found.
Paula also posted on Facebook that her dog had gone missing in hopes that someone from the neighborhood would find the pooch.
\u201cthis week I wrote about a lost beagle who not only found her way home, but also won a ribbon at a dog show in the process \u2014 productive queen! \nhttps://t.co/aGnWUV5Mys\u201d— Maeve (@Maeve) 1658246235
Later that day, John Wilmer was driving his two dogs to a dog show and saw Bonnie by the side of the road, not far from where the Closiers had been searching. "I was in a bit of a rush to get there when we found Bonnie and put her in the car,” he told the BBC. “She was such a lovely dog, I thought it'd be good to enter her."
Before taking Bonnie to the show he put up a post on Facebook saying that he found a dog on the street. The Closiers saw the message and responded to Wilmer’s post.
Wilmer already had plans for Bonnie so he decided he might as well give her a nice play date with his dogs before taking her home. So he entered her into the show and lo and behold, she won third place in the best rescue category.
When Wilmer brought the dog home she was wearing a big beautiful yellow third-place ribbon. "When John brought her back to us with a rosette we couldn't believe it. It's a shame she didn't come first in the show,” Paula told the BBC.
Bonnie must have won the award because of her natural charm. “[She’s] a free spirit,” Paula told The Dodo. “She's lovely, never negative, tail always wagging.” Bonnie was rescued from Crete, Greece, where she lived as a street dog.
What started off as a terrifying day for the Closier family wound up being one they’ll never forget. “We found her adventure lovely and funny,” Paula told The Dodo. "We're so thrilled she's safe and well and also a winner. You couldn't make this stuff up."
"Bonnie was absolutely fine when she got back. She just thought she was having a great day out," Peter said, according to People. "When she was missing, I had five different outcomes in my head, the best being that she came back. This was even better than that; she came back with a rosette."
Now that Bonnie has shown she can be successful in the world of dog shows, Paula is considering placing her in another competition.
“We might,” she said. “She obviously enjoys them.”