The spinger spaniel Hector disappeared from Johan Van Der Bauwhede’s farm in the Zarren area of Hulsthout 8 years ago. He was then 2 years old.
"One morning he was gone. I started searching the area distributed flyers and also looked in ditches because he might have been run over. However, we never saw him again”.
Until now that is. The Fire Service took a dog that had been found to the Poezewoef Animal Sanctuary. There the dog’s identification chip was checked and lo and behold the dog was registered as having been stolen. The sanctuary contacted Mr Van Der Bauwhede. However, a little later a family turned up looking for Hector. The family had been looking after him for the past 8 years. They had found him roaming the streets. When he was found back in 2012 identification chips weren’t as widely in use as is now the case and no one took the trouble to check.
Johan Van Der Bauwhede has now decided to leave the dog with the family. "After all these years of uncertainty I cried like a child. My wife and children were also very emotional when they saw him again. I was planning to bring Hector home with me, but after having spoken to the new owners its seemed better to leave him where he is. The dog is 10 years old, has been answering to another name for the past 8 years and he doesn’t recognise me anymore. That couple has become very attached to him and they look after him well. They have agreed that we can occasionally go and visit him”.