'I could write a story about what's happened to him' - West Lothian dog owner emotional after stolen pup is returned

A relieved dog owner whose dog was stolen and driven about 120 miles from his home said he could write a story about his cocker spaniel’s life.

Davie Whigham, a retired policeman, was horrified to find his adored chocolate-coloured spaniel Obie had been snatched from his property in Harburn on Wednesday afternoon.

Fortunately the dog owner had CCTV outside his house which captured the heartless thieves stealing the three-year-old pup and images of the car they drove off in.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Following extensive investigations, Obie was found about 120 miles away from his home in Penrith.

Obie on the left and his brother Bing picture: supplied
Obie on the left and his brother Bing picture: supplied

The dog was safely returned on Thursday evening and reunited with his family, including his brother Bing.

Speaking to Edinburgh Evening News, Mr Whigham said he could write a story book about his dog’s life following the latest heart-wrenching incident.

"I could honestly write a story about what’s happened to Obie in his life,” he said, still sounding emotional about the spaniel’s return.

"He’s the smarter one of the three dogs I have but he certainly gets into the most trouble.

"He was run over as a pup, had part of his tail burnt off in an accident and now this happened to him.

"He’s the dog that everything has happened to, but he’s still so calm and well-behaved.”

Obie was stolen by a group of men on Wednesday afternoon while Mr Whigham was out at work.

After returning home at about 4pm to find the kennel door open and no Obie inside, the dog owner checked his CCTV and saw footage of a man knock at his door at about 1.30pm while three other men ran to the kennel to snatch the chocolate spaniel.

The footage then shows the thieves driving off at top speed and nearly crashing into an oncoming postie not far from the house.

Mr Whigham posted about the horrendous theft on social media which gained thousands of views and had tens of thousands of shares.

With the community support behind him, and extensive police investigations, Cobie was located.

“From what I understand there were some positive leads made, and the people who stole him had left him tied up at an industrial state,” Mr Whigham added.

"What was quite surprising was he was all the way down in Penrith, and the guys that took him left him tied up at an industrial estate near Longtown.

"With the search going on, and the momentum it gathered, these guys obviously knew it was in their best interest to let the dog go.”

Obie was first spotted by a motorist driving on the M6, near Penrith, tied-up to a fence with yellow string at an industrial estate.

The driver then reported stranded Obie, who was then taken to a vet in Longtown where Mr Whigham eventually picked him up on Thursday evening.

"Obviously we’re over the moon to have him back,” he said.

"And the other dogs too. Having said that they’re a bit competitive with each other and it was clear they wanted to know where Obie had been.”

A police spokeswoman said: “Thanks to the power of social media, Obie, stolen from Harburn on 11th November, was found abandoned in Penrith, uninjured, and is now back home with his owner.”

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by Coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.