Wonder dog Iffi survives drain ordeal

Edna takes Iffi for a walk, but this time he is definitely staying on his lead.
Edna takes Iffi for a walk, but this time he is definitely staying on his lead.

Garstang’s very own wonder dog has been reunited with his owners, after surviving nearly three days underground in a drain.

Iffi, a King Charles Spaniel/Parson’s Jack Russell cross, had an adventure and a half when he disappeared from the far side of the town’s Millennium Green and was later discovered in a land drain under the Garstang Show field, after a passer-by heard him yelping.

His distraught owners, Edna and Michael Bracewell, from Burlingham Park, Cabus, had put up posters offering a £250 reward for the two-year-old pet’s return with the headline Stolen from the Millennium Green.

They searched locally and even travelled up to Cumbria, fearing their pet had been stolen and taken out of the county.

But, with no trail to follow, they returned to the Millennium Green two days after his disappearance and continued looking.

Edna, a retired nurse, said: “It’s quite a little miracle really. We were devastated – we cried for three days.I thought he had been stolen because he suddenly disappeared, and a person sitting nearby also disappeared.

“I put two and two together and got it wrong.”

It is now thought Iffi was playing near the river and chased a rabbit or rat into a large drain, following a route which eventually took him through a maze of drains, under a main road and under Garstang Show field.

A couple passing nearby walking on and by the show field alerted Iffi’s owners’attention after the wife heard sounds of squealing and yapping coming from below ground.

Further investigation revealed Iffi was trapped in a drain under a manhole.

The walker was able to ease her hand down a gap by the side of the drain and grabbed Iffi’s collar, Edna, alerted by the woman’s husband, then raced over and clipped his lead on. More people came to help to lift the drain cover up enough for them to lift the much-loved pet out..

The Good Samaritan couple waived their right to a reward and were reportedly as delighted as Iffi’s owners at the happy ending.

Iffi was badly dehydrated and had lost a lot of weight, but once back home he had plenty to drink and was able to wolf down a steak supper. Now they’re taking no chances and keeping Iffi firmly on an extendable lead, even though Edna says he is a well trained and usually obedient dog..

Edna added: “We were searching until 10pm and up until 4am in the morning. We were exhausted and devastated and everyone who knew is on the Green was devastated as well.”

She continued:“I want to thank everyone for their concern and help in searching for him.”

As for the unusual name Iffi, she explained the name came from the conversation she and her husband had when they went to first look at their prospective pet: “It was if we want him, if we like him and if we buy him!”

For video report see www.garstangcourier.co.uk