WestEndExtra

The independent London newspaper

Retired greyhound goes on last spin around the West End

Dog was found in photography shop

15 June, 2018 — By Helen Chapman

Alexandra Witney with Frankie 

A RETIRED racing greyhound bolted from its walker and spent a whole evening running around the West End before being discovered in a photography shop.

Frankie took himself out for one last spin after he vanished into the dark during a walk around Paradise Park in Islington.

Alexandra Witney, 30, was frantic and started firing out messages on social media that were seen by staff in Jessops in New Oxford Street. The greyhound had walked into the shop three miles away.

Ms Witney said: “I was out at dinner so my neighbour was just taking him out for the evening.

“She took Frankie to Paradise Park right next to my house. He goes there every day but, for some reason, he got spooked and ran away from her.

“She followed him to outside my flat but he didn’t stop running. There were other people there trying to stop him but that just scared him more. He is so chill he doesn’t even react to thunder so this was really unusual behaviour for him.

Frankie 

“At first we were wandering around shouting his name out. It was quite horrible. I had all my friends trying to look as well. I felt numb and brain-dead. I registered him on all the lost dog platforms I could find and on social media.

“I got a call at 11am on Saturday saying he had been found. He had walked into Jessops that morning. I think it must have been the quietest shop.”

Ms Witney added: “He was in a pretty bad way. His feet were bleeding because he had been running all night, he had bruises and his tail looked damaged.

“The staff at Jessops carried Frankie into my car and we drove him to the hospital straight away. There was a good chance he was hit by a car. It was really lucky in a way because he didn’t break any bones. He wasn’t himself for a few days but he’s back to himself now.”

Members of the public contacted Ms Witney saying Frankie had been sighted outside Angel station, in Clerkenwell and around Temple. But he kept on running without stopping. She was left worrying all night until she got a call the next day with some hope.

To celebrate the safe return of Frankie, Jessops has decided to donate the £1,000 equivalent of Frankie’s vet bills to The Retired Greyhound Trust, and provide owner Alexandra with a personalised canvas of ex-champ Frankie, to commemorate his last, albeit unplanned, race.

Ms Witney added: “It was really heartwarming that everyone was helping. I was really blown away by everyone getting together. I’m still getting calls now. It’s amazing how much people care.”

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