Lost/Perdu Black Labrador
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Hector - Update

Hector_returns I am so pleased to report that Hector is back in our family fold.

It has been a long 36 hours without him and to be honest during this afternoon as we worked in the barn to keep occupied there really seemed to be nothing to hope for.

We all thought the worst but hoped for the best.

Donna and I must have travelled 200 miles in the last two days visiting isolated house or farm, vet's and Police and the Mairie in the outside hope that someone had seen him or taken him in.

Today we suffered a cruel twist when travelling into Monflanquin to register our loss with the Police. I saw, across the fields, a black Labrador sitting in front of an old farmhouse.

Immediately, I shouted, there he is!

We turned down a small lane towards Château Roquefere  and then right into this little lane.

My heart was pounding as I drove towards the dog and I was convinced it was Hector. I walked as close to the nervous dog and I needed to get to 10 feet away to realise cruelly that it was not him. In fact it was a bitch.

When she moved the differences became obvious..

We both felt extremely deflated and it was then that we really felt that we may never see Hector again.

Henners was due at football training at 6 pm this evening and the plan was I would drop him off and then tour the countryside while Henry trained and then return to pick him up afterwards.

On arrival at football field there was not a soul to be seen so 'H' decided  to come with me. We visited house after farm after house and so on on the Monflanquin side and then returned closer to our house and the hamlet of Piis.

There is a rather dirty farm there but we felt we needed to ask everyone. I met with a neighbour who I had seen first thing this morning and he said the old lady in the house had seen a young lad with a black dog this morning and had asked if she had lost it.

She explained that the lad come from about 3km away (about 5 km from our house) but we could not understand her local drool and bid her farewell.

We left in the general direction that she had indicated but the haystack looked so large and the needle was nowhere to be seen.

After a kilometre we arrived at pretty little house where the owner was enjoying the evening sunshine. He repeated the claim of the old lady and said there was a young lad on a bike with a young black dog and he added the magic words 'Labrador' which made us more optimistic. He did not know however who the lad was or where he lived!

The evening was by now getting late and we faced the prospect of another night without Hector.
We were though close to an English couple we knew so we popped in to ask them if they had seen Hector or knew of this mysterious lad.

They did not know and had not seen this lad but pointed us in the direction of a house that they knew  where there were two young lads. They also told us that the owners used to have a kennels and kept a few hunting dogs.

We set off - and remember we are in deep countryside with narrow lanes and at least .5km between properties - towards the house.

We stopped because we saw a family playing in a garden.
Henners asked the lady if she had seen a black Labrador and to our delight she said that her neighbour had found a black dog.

I tried not to get too excited but I could not help speeding down the lane. A tractor barred our way but the farmer seemed to know what our mission was and beckoned us over. He pointed in the direction of the house and told us there was a young black Labrador there.

We pulled into their track and focussed on the house where the smoke from a BBQ rose into the low setting sun.

Playing on the lawn was a black dog with a deflated football and two young lads. The setting sun made the image difficult to recognise but as soon as the ball was dropped and the familiar bark reached my receptive ears I was sure that it was Hector.

I am not sure who was the most relieved, him or us but the relief was huge.

The lady explained that the boys, who are still on school holidays, had found Hector in the big wood and he had followed them home.

We said thank you a thousand times and set off home to tell the girls.

I was quite surreal when we got back. Donna was on her hands and knees in the doorway varnishing the terracotta tiles. She did not see Hector in the back of the car. I got out first and as I walked in the door she enquired how the search had gone.

At this point Henners opened the back door of the car and Hector flounced in. Donna's mouth fel open and she screamed with delight and Fleur came running at after hearing the commotion.

The family was re-united once  more!!!

Thank you everyone for your emails/ I am going to add some more soon.