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Safe and sound

Edward stands next to his new home

Edward’s unlucky accident brought him into our care and then the loving arms of Roz and her dad Tony...

Dog Edward with new owner Roz on the barge
Edward now lives on a barge with new owner Roz, and her dad, Tony

Looking at Edward now, with his head rested on his owner’s lap as he enjoys a good chin scratch, it’s hard to believe this is the same dog we first met abandoned and injured by the roadside several months before.

Edward is lucky to be alive after he was hit by at least two cars.

Dazed and confused after being hit once, the young dog crossed the path of another car, causing the driver to slam on her brakes. Though she tried to avoid him,

Edward was disorientated from his first encounter with a car, and the second clipped his body.

Luckily for Edward, a member of the Blue Cross team was driving home on a day off and came upon the incident as it unfolded.

Julie Stone, Operations Manager, told of the horrific situation she encountered as she made her way from an art exhibition one Sunday: “There was a queue of traffic ahead, and I realised there was a dog in the road and no one knew what to do.

“The lady who hit him was very upset. He had just run into the road out of nowhere and was staggering around as if he had been hit once already.”

Emergency treatment

Julie sprang into action and, with help from other motorists, lifted the limp dog into her car. Edward had been injured not too far from our Burford rehoming centre, so Julie knew the local area and location of an emergency vet.

The journey there, while not far, seemed like an age. She phoned ahead to the veterinary surgery to make sure Edward would receive emergency treatment on arrival.

She said: “I thought he was going to die in the back of my car. He just lay there motionless, his gums were pale and he was frothing at the mouth.”

Julie explained to the vet that she worked for Blue Cross and – if he survived – would help the stray dog if his owner could not be found.

There were zooms and brums in every direction. I really didn’t know which way to turn, so I just ran for it – I just wanted to get away from the busy road. I didn’t get very far, but luckily Blue Cross was there. I know I’m safe and sound with Roz and Tony, and I’ll never be abandoned again. Edward

As she had been on her way back from a display of artwork by Edward Lear when she came across the accident, it seemed appropriate to Julie to name the dog after the poet and illustrator, who often drew inspiration from animals.

Thankfully, Edward pulled through and X-rays revealed his bones were still fully intact. For a short time he was walking around in circles, so we monitored him extremely carefully under veterinary supervision.

Abandoned at the roadside

Edward was not wearing a collar and tag when he was discovered, a microchip could not be detected and the dog warden had no reports of a missing dog matching his description, so there was no way of finding his owner. We suspect he was abandoned at the roadside and just left to fend for himself against the busy traffic of the dual carriageway.

When Edward was well enough to leave the vet’s, one of our foster carers looked after him and gave him some much-deserved TLC. Lydia Sawyer, an Animal Welfare Supervisor at Burford rehoming centre, said: “His foster carer watched him closely but did not notice any further circling, which was an excellent sign he was on the mend.

“He came on in leaps and bounds. When he first came into Blue Cross care, Edward didn’t know how to play, but with help from his fosterer’s resident puppy, he soon began to pick it up.”

Dog Edward on his new bed

What to do if you've found a stray dog

  • If you’ve found a stray dog, check to see if they’re wearing a tag with the owner’s details on. If they are, and you’re happy to do this, contact the owner and arrange to give the dog back.
  • Otherwise, contact the dog warden via your local council. They are legally responsible for stray dogs and will collect the dog from you and take it to a holding kennels.
  • If the dog is poorly, the dog warden will get veterinary help. 
  • Register the dog as ‘found’ on, a national website.
  • Although it might be tempting to keep the dog, you’re legally required to let the local authority know about any strays. If you don’t, you could be accused of theft. If the dog is microchipped, it could be easy to find their loving owner.
  • If you do want to keep the dog, let the local authority know and they may be able to arrange for you to rehome the dog if no one claims them.
  • If a lost dog isn’t claimed after seven days, the dog warden may contact a charity like Blue Cross to see if we can find them a loving new home.

New best friend

After a period of recovery in his foster home, Edward was given the all clear to find a new family. Being a lovely long-haired lurcher, it didn’t take long for him to find one.

Dog Edward with his new family, staffie Nigel and owners Roz and Tony
Edward's so happy to live with his new owners Roz and Tony, and staffie pal Nigel

Roz Jacobs and her dad Tony were looking for a companion for their staffie, Nigel. Wanting to give an unwanted dog a chance, they checked the websites of rehoming centres every day.

Roz explained: “I looked one morning and couldn’t see any available to rehome. Half an hour later I just thought, ‘I’ll look again’, and up Edward popped. I took one look and thought, ‘look at that little face’. I’d always wanted a scruffy mutt. I phoned and booked to come and see him. After the first meet we came back for the second, and that was it!”

Roz and Tony brought Nigel to our centre to meet Edward and check the pair would be happy together. We don’t think Edward had been particularly well socialised with other dogs but the two raced around our doggie play area as if they had been best friends for years.

Edward now lives an idyllic life on the family barge. The boat is moored in a marina, and many other households have dogs, so there are always friends to meet and sniff. While he is taunted by swans, he takes no notice of them and plays it safe around the water.

Roz and Tony have discovered that Edward is a very good thief and has a taste for everything. “This week he decided to try a book for the first time. Thankfully one I’ve already read!” says Roz. “He steals all sorts. We’ve had to turn everything upside down.”

Edward has good recall and enjoys retrieving a ball, and his besotted new owners are working on his socialisation by exposing him to new situations little and often. The family have visited small friendly dog shows with people and dogs they know well, and Edward has even won rosettes.

Roz says: “He’s so sweet. If you’re fussing him when he’s lying down, you get the ‘more paw’ and the look! He’s coming on leaps and bounds.”

Tony agrees: “With more help and time, he’ll get there.” 

Several months on from his accident, Edward has shown no sign of ongoing injury. Though he’s been through so much in his young life, clouds do have silver linings and he’s found the best of all of them – a loving home.

Dog Edward on his barge

— Page last updated 22/11/2017