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Crackerjack Freddie

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The wanderer comes home...


Excerpts from Eric's Diary

30 May - Freddie (Crackerjack Freddie) and I went to the Packington show alone because Tessa (Troublesome Tessa) was having a problem with a bad eye, and so my wife decided to keep her at home with Meg the Lurcher.

Freddie, not wanting to be left alone in the caravan on Sunday afternoon while I was doing ring party, decided to get out and come looking for me. He ran up to a guy who looked a bit like me, and when realising it was not me, he ran off out of the showground and crossed the M42 Motorway.

We have been getting daily sightings from the local people and the many volunteers that have given up their time to help in the search, but being such a small dog, and with the grass in the fields being so high at this time of year, it's making it very hard to find him after a sighting when he runs for cover.

2 June - One big worry that I have got off my back is my boss. I phoned her to offer to come into work this afternoon and she declined the offer. She is very sympathetic and realises how much pain I'm going through at the moment and has assured me that she is not angry with me not turning up today. All the Courier Business's are going through very hard times at the moment and with few staff to keep the overheads down, she has a very hard time keeping things going.

The local dog trapper Ray Dedicoat called me tonight to tell me he had a call from a chap in Meadow Road who had seen Freddie walking down his street this afternoon. if you go up the Alcester Road (A435)to the roundabout and turn right onto station road, there is the small housing estate on the left where he was seen. There is a bakery on that roundabout, too that could be worth a visit from time to time if passing. I call there every evening.

4 June - Just a short up date on Freddie as I'm about to get the caravan hitched to travel up there for the weekend. It's not a place I enjoy visiting at the moment because of what happened to that guy's Labradors and the worry of knowing that Freddie is somewhere out there without me, but I can't give up on my little man. He sleeps in his cage next to my bed, and I always let him out when the first alarm rings so that I can give him a cuddle and attention before Tessa and Meg pushes him aside. I've found myself still doing this in the morning, momentarily forgetting that he's not there and the hurt I feel after is hard.

I got a call this morning from a lady that had seen Freddie out in her village. She says he's in good health, clean and not limping at all. In fact, she said he looks just like he's come out from his home for a morning stroll. So he's still out there, and although I'm worried sick about him, I'm also very proud that he's keeping himself fit and looking good. I have to laugh some times at the way he's taking the p*** out of people.

6 June - STILL no sign of CrackerJack Freddie. In fact, it's been very quiet out there. I started my searching at 4.00am Saturday morning and again the same time today, and nothing but rabbits and foxes. Ray (the dog trapper) has been baiting Beckets Farm Shop in a bid to keep Freddie local to that place, but the bait was un-touched this morning.

Freddie was last seen on Thursday morning at 6.55am by a lady called Linda in a village called Weathoak Hill, who said he looked in good health. We did have two sightings of what I believe is another Jack that looks like Freddie in Drakes Cross, but one of the reports stated that this Jack had a collar on, but Freddie didn't.

Ray and his wife Ann, have been very good to us over the weekend. Both they and there staff have been very cheerful. They've treated us from the first hello like they knew us for ages, and have helped a great deal in perking us up a bit. They let us park the car and caravan within the kennel compound and gave us total freedom to roam around wherever and whatever time we wanted. They were both ready 24hr a day to drop everything to go out to any sighting of Freddie that came in.

I would just like to mention that they have a very lively three and a half month old Border Collie waiting for a forever home at the moment for any of you out there that might be interested. He's a good looker, too.

8 June - WE GOT HIM"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The latest news I had about half hour ago was from a lady who walked out into her kitchen to find Freddie noseying around, looking to grab something to eat. She heard his toenails clicking around on the stone floor and went to investigate. Upon seeing the lady, Freddie disappeared into the garden out of sight. Where he went she didn't know.

She ran down the road to get my number off one of the posters to inform me of the sighting. I called Ray and, like he has done all week at any time of day, he got in his van and went straight round the lady's house.

He got there and searched with the lady but couldn't see a Sausage (in his own words) Just as he was about to leave the lady's Cocker Spaniel gave the game away for Freddie by walking up to a small gap that led into an adjoining electrical substation and wagging his tail franticly. After being warned off by Freddie several times, Ray managed to get a noose over Freddie's head who then came quietly.

Ray had to read the chip number out to me over the phone several times before I convinced myself that it was Freddie. I was ecstatic! We spent several hours at Ray and Ann's kennels before coming home in the early hours. I'm off to work now. There just ain't enough hours in a day.

Compiled from postings in The Forum

The Ballad of Freddie the Wanderer

by Jane Tatum

Eric had a little dog

Some bits were white as snow

And everywhere that Eric went

He had his dog in tow.


But then this little JRT

Ran off from a doggy show,

Shot through the rings and bolted off

His cheeks all of a glow.


He took a frit and ran right off

Across the great grey road.

Agility folk all bit their nails,

“Let’s hope the traffic slowed.”


He wandered far, he wandered wide

While Eric feared for Freddie,

From motorway to village streets,

In endless circling eddy.


A week went by and hope grew short

Though Fred was often seen

But when searchers hastened to the spot

The little *** was nowhere to be seen.


At last he found a little house

The door was open wide.

Our hero was quite hungry now

And thought he’d go inside.


But when the lady of the house

Heard Freddie’s little paws,

He scampered off and hid himself

Somewhere out of doors.


The trapper came and searched about.

Just where did Freddie go?

So near, so far, where was the beast?

Not off again, oh no!


A cocker spaniel wasn’t fooled;

He knew where Freddie was.

He barked at bushes, wagged his tail

And therefore all because…


A little spaniel stood his ground

And made a deal of noise

Our Freddie he came out at last,

Full of his usual poise!


Now Eric has him home again,

He’ll watch him like a hawk.

He loves that little JRT.

If only he could talk!


He’d tell us what he did while out

And running for his life.

And how he managed to evade

The whole world and his wife!


The moral of this story is,

Oh Freddie, don’t you see?

Stick with Dad he’s not that bad,

And safe you’ll always be!









Thanks from Eric...
I would like to thank Helen Walland and Doug for their helping in finding Freddie. They were the ones who pointed me in the right direction when I was at the point of pulling my hair out - even though there isn't much of it!

Thank you to all at the Packington Show who joined in the search. Thank you to all of those connected with http://www.doglost.co.uk and Second Chance Rescue who gave up there time to come out and look for Freddie. I understand that there was about 40 at one time.

Thank you to the Packington club members for turning out during the week as well as the Bromsgrove (Back Street Gang) who tried to comfort me and yet reduced themselves to tears... lol. You guys are great! Oh, and not forgetting all the texts from there members throughout the ordeal with messages of support.

My biggest thank you must go to Ray and Ann Dedicoat. They helped so much - day and night - and treated me and my wife like they knew us for years. They took one hell of a lot of weight off my shoulders and were prepared to stand in for me at any time of day or night if I was back home in Oxford. My trust in them paid off.

Thank you to anyone I missed out. There were so many of you. I know your faces but not your names.