THE CORNWALL BADGER RESCUE
& BROCK WEBSITE
What should have been a week of joyful memories ended with sadness for a honeymooning couple who lost their dog on the Poldhu to Polurrian coastal path.
Inquisitive terrier Ted could not resist exploring a hole halfway along the path - and ended up trapped in a badger set, much to the anxiety of his owners Jim and Louise Charlesworth.
Although they could hear his barks underground, they could not see him and Ted appeared unable to find his way back.
The couple from Berkshire had taken Ted and their other dog, also a terrier, for a long walk during their Cornish honeymoon when the tragedy struck last Thursday.
Mr Charlesworth, who bought Ted as a puppy ten years ago, said: "He's a terrier so they do that, but it was just very unfortunately. We never saw him again. We don't know if he's down there or has managed to get out and has gone off on his own. It's down to him to have a bit of good luck now."
As a fireman in Berkshire, the worried owner's first though was to contact the fire brigade. Due to laws preventing badger sets from being disturbed their help was limited, but a crew did bring warm clothing for the couple who wanted to stay on the coastal path all night in case Ted returned.
Although the bad weather conditions on the exposed cliff top forced them to return to their accommodation at 11pm, the couple were back on cliff before dawn on Friday, returning again on Saturday and Sunday to maintain their vigil.
Mr and Mrs Charlesworth also received help from the Bob and Julie at Cornwall Badger Rescue, Justin at the National Trust and Paul Kempson and Felicity Cross from the RSPCA, who managed to get an licence to investigate the set.
This meant Garry and Russell from Penzance-based Dyno Rod could looking down the set using fibre optic cables and cameras to see if Ted could be seen. They donated their services for free, but unfortunately the little dog was nowhere in sight.
Mr and Mrs Charlesworth have asked their thanks to be passed on through to the Packet to everyone that came to help in the search, which included many residents of neighbouring properties.
"It was all a massive effort really. We really want to say thank you to everyone," said Mr Charlesworth.
The couple had been due to leave on Saturday, but extended their visit for another day in the hope Ted would be found. They also cancelled the last days at their accommodation at Land's End and spent the next three nights at the Old Inn, Mullion as the closest place they could find to Ted.
Ted is ten years old and is almost completely brown, apart from a white stripe on his chest. If he has escaped from the badger set he is likely to be covered in dirt and possibly injured.
He is micro-chipped and Mr Charlesworth urged anyone who finds him to take him directly to any veterinary surgery for treatment. Mr Charlesworth can also be contacted on 07901 938999 or 01488 657054.