He then spent the day frantically searching for her, eventually leaving the area at 6.30pm, before returning again an hour later.Terrified that she had been ‘savaged’, he continued to scour the woods on Thursday and Friday, before being forced to take a break and do a food shop at Aldi.
It was then around 11am that he received a call from another dog walker who said their pet had been sniffing around a fox hole in the woods.Alan, a life therapy coach, said he ‘dropped everything and went to investigate’, taking one of Mitzi’s toys to squeak outside the hole.
He was then stunned to hear a faint whimper in return and decided to furiously start digging on the spot, with the help of the woman who rang him.
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This softens the kibble and makes the food much easier to chew.
At 1.13pm he was reunited with Mitzi – more than 50 hours after she went missing.In a video of the moment, Alan can be seen pulling the dog out and then clutching her to his chest as he breaks down in floods of tears. He told Essex Live: ‘I just broke down, I was overwhelmed with joy and disbelief, I had started to lose hope.
‘It was like a Christmas miracle, all the time it felt like a nightmare I couldn’t wake up from.’
Fortunately Mitzi was unharmed by the ordeal and only need a few ticks removed after a trip to the vets.
Alan said the first thing she did once free was ‘smash her way through a Greggs vegan sausage roll’.
He is now going to buy her a GPS collar so he can track her during their walks together.
Thanking residents in the area for their help, Alan said losing Mitzi has taught him ‘not to take anything for granted’ and to ‘love big and love hard’.
He is now offering free coaching sessions for anyone involved in her rescue, as they ‘restored’ his faith in humanity.