By Rebecca Lipcsei
IT has all the makings of a Hollywood film – a goodie, a baddie, a hero and a loveable mutt to boot – and even the almost unbelievable happy ending.
After her Spanish owner no longer wanted her, Eva, the six-year old Breton Spaniel hunting dog was taken to a veterinary surgery in Algeciras, Southern Spain, to be put to sleep.
Once the hunter had left the vet’s practice though, the vet felt he could not give Eva the lethal injection, so instead took the dog up to the municipal pound up the road, in Los Barrios where he knew she would be safe.
International dog rescue charity, Spanish Stray Dogs, works out of the pound, saving, rescuing and re-homing hundreds of stray and unwanted dogs every year and they began a worldwide search for a good home for Eva.
A home abroad was found who were also adopting another Breton Spaniel cross, Leopoldo, four, who Eva had befriended at the pound.
Whilst waiting for their paperwork to be completed and a flight to become available, the two canines went to live in a temporary foster home in Estepona on the Costa del Sol.
But with only 10 days to go until she was due to fly out to her new home, whilst on a walk, Eva was spooked by something and ran off into the Spanish countryside.
Despite several frantic searches being carried out, a €300 reward being offered, posters being placed all over and even a Facebook campaign being launched to find the vanished pooch, it was all in vain and there was still no sign of the missing dog.
But several months later, in January, Eva’s original owner, the hunter, received a phone call from a dog pound in Don Benito, a small Spanish city in Badajoz province some 180 miles away, to say that his dog was there and he had been traced through her microchip.
Once she was returned to her original foster home in Estepona, Eva then had to wait for another flight to the Scandinavian country where her adoptive family were waiting patiently for her.
Susan Gill, 52, a shelter volunteer, said: “They never gave up hope that she would come back and against the odds.
“This little dog has had the most amazing journey of survival-she had been sentenced to death but it seems as though she had other ideas!”
Eva has now been happily and safely homed and to top it all off, she now shares her basket with Leopoldo, her shelter companion from Los Barrios.