When Maisie the Cairn terrier vanished for eight days on a north Suffolk beauty spot in sub-zero temperatures, deep snow and bitterly cold winds, her owner feared the worst.

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As the search went on, the mercury plummeted to -15C (5F) in parts of Suffolk and it seemed hopes of finding her alive on Dunwich Heath, near Southwold, had all but gone.

But miraculously, Maisie was discovered after more than a week in the wilderness – freezing cold but apparently unscathed, with her lead caught on a tree, tethering her to the spot.

The three-year-old dog has now been reunited with her owner Margaret Charles, from Middleton, near Dunwich, and tucked up in her warm basket.

Maisie had panicked and run off after Mrs Charles slipped on ice while walking her on the National Trust’s Dunwich Heath.

After unsuccessfully calling out for Maisie, Mrs Charles, who was left bruised after the fall, was forced to seek help to find her.

She said: “Maisie is always walked on a retractable lead but I let go of the lead when I fell and she ran off immediately.

“It was already getting dark so I ended up going back to the coastguard cottages and asking for help from the National Trust.

“A chap came out with me but it was dark and we couldn’t see very well so we had to stop.”

The search resumed the following day with groups of people coming from all over to look for Maisie.

A few days later Mrs Charles was contacted by Jenny Brown, a volunteer with Dog Lost which helps trace missing dogs, saying she was bringing her tracker dog Tigger up from Kent to join the search.

Mrs Charles, who has had Maisie since she was nine months old, said: “Jenny came the following day on Thursday and Tigger sniffed Maisie’s coat to get her scent and a few hours later I had a call to say Tigger had found her.

“I was trembling and crying and didn’t know what to do with myself but managed to get into my car and drive to where Maisie was.

“She was found not far from where I fell but her retractable lead had got caught in a tree – but the main thing was she was Ok.”

Maisie was taken to the vets and given a clean bill of health.


  • Well done to Jenny & Tigger! Poor Maisie she must have been so cold and frightened. So pleased it was a good outcome as I am sure Margaret is, it must have been a very worrying time for her. Good to know others helped in the search too.

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    Friday, February 1, 2013

  • well done Jenny Brown and Tigger.

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    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

  • great story.

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    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

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