When there’s a will, there’s a way.
Victoria Hogan was out for a walk at Lickey Hills County Park near their home in Birmingham, England, when suddenly, one of her dogs darted off and disappeared. Freda, a 6-year-old border terrier, had fallen into a badger den and gotten lodged deep inside.
Frantic, Victoria tried to call and lure her dog from the hole, but she couldn’t be reached. The animal lover decided to set up a vigil by the hole, camping out for eight long days in hopes that the dog would dig her way to freedom.
During that time, Victoria says she cooked food near the whole and tried to waft the aroma toward it to entice Freda. Local animal rescues and search teams used special listening devices and cameras to try to locate her sweet pup, but they couldn’t find where she’d gone. Nothing seemed to work, and all seemed lost.
“On day eight, I just said to myself ‘I have to give up and begin to grieve’ and went back home, although I did leave her blanket and bowl behind in the park just in case,” said the devastated owner.
Victoria did just that. She and her husband, veterinarian Brian Hogan, began to grieve the loss of their dog. Their other terrier Bert also missed his canine sister.
But then, a “miracle” happened, according to Victoria. Twelve days after she’d vanished without a trace, Freda somehow managed to drag herself less than a thousand feet from the Hogan’s front door!
“Then, on day 12, I was told three students had found Freda collapsed at the side of a nearby road and I initially feared the worst and thought it must be her dead body,” Victoria recalled. “When I was told she was alive, it felt like a miracle and I ran out of the house to find her.”
Freda’s shocked family rushed her to Blacks Vets Veterinary Hospital where both Victoria and Brian work. She was treated for dehydration, malnutrition, pressure sores, and was found to have lots of scrapes and bruises.
“We called ahead to say we were on our way to the hospital and by the time we arrived the nurses and emergency team had already organized a heated bed, had fluids and pain relief ready and were all geared up to treat her wounds,” Victoria said. “Some of our colleagues even came in to help, even though they were not on duty.”
Brian, the clinical director of Black Vets, said he’s never seen a case quite like his own dog’s.
“I’ve been a vet for almost 30 years but Freda’s story is one of the most incredible I’ve ever known,” he said, adding, “She was severely malnourished and dehydrated and had some significant pressure sores as a result of being trapped and wedged underground for so long but, thankfully, nothing that she could not overcome.”
Freda was released after two days, and she’s now recovering at home with her very grateful family. We’ll likely never know where she was, or how she survived for those 12 days, but her will to get home overruled everything else. Good girl, Freda!
Share Freda’s harrowing story to welcome this sweet pup home.
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