REUNITED: Selena with Archie. Simon posted on Facebook: "WEVE GOT HIM!!!!! He has lost his front cover looks a little, is missing a tooth, covered in scars, overweight and has gotten very hairy but generally in good health. If only he could talk.... He didn't recognise Selena until she stopped crying and said his name normally and then he went BALLISTIC! What an unbelievably happy ending. Thank you to all our friends, dog owners & dog lovers who felt our pain and supported us through this ordeal - which I can now say (never thought I would!) is over :)"
Archie the black cocker spaniel has been found - after being stolen from a dog trainer's vehicle 1 year, 1 month and 8 days ago. Archie belongs to shooting journalist Selena Masson, former news editor and still a regular contributor to the weekly Shooting Times.
Archie was stolen from a locked pick-up belonging to Kent trainer and picker-up Chris Burns, on 11 December 2009. Thieves threw a brick through the window and used a crowbar to prise open the dog box inside.
Selena and her fiancé Simon Barr (who writes our Wild Boar Diary in Sporting Shooter) were devastated, and launched an online campaign to find Archie, offering a cash reward, but nothing was heard.
The out of the blue yesterday Selena was at a shoot lunch when she received a call from the RSPCA in Goudhurst. In measured tones, a woman asked her to describe her dog, she tells me. After confirming his colour and other details, Selena hear the words she'd longed to hear for more than a year: "I can confirm that we have Archie."
There wasn't time to get to the RSPCA centre before it closed, so Selena plans to be on the doorstep this morning when they open. Also attending are camera crews from BBC, ITV and FieldsportsChannel.
A lovely heartwarming story - and on so-called 'Blue Monday' too!