There was an unusual ‘tail’ for south Belfast’s social media community last week when a little lost dog called Bebo became the centre of a Facebook campaign.
In a PR move that would put Max Clifford out of business, the hunt was on after the miniature black poodle belonging to Upper Malone Road grandmother Mrs Anna McKay went missing.
Bebo, who was running past the Lock Keeper’s Cottage on Monday, June 21, with Mrs McKay's grandson Donal McKay, was startled when a group of joggers from another direction converged on them — little Bebo was so frightened she dashed off and within moments was out of sight.
Distraught Donal combed the area into the early hours of the morning, but to no avail.
He said: “Though she is tiny, she runs like the clappers and easily keeps up with me. I was horrified when she dashed off. I searched every nook and cranny, but had to give up around 1.30am the next morning as I had to get up early for work.” Donal’s uncle, Dominic McKay, also helped in the search.
He said: “Some children said they saw her run into Belvoir forest, but had spotted foxes around there earlier too. We were very worried as she is so small — she wouldn’t have lasted long with the threat of foxes about.”
The family contacted the local dog wardens and the lost dog website and posted fliers anywhere they could.
Donal’s sister Marianne set up a Facebook profile for the little black pooch. In less than three days, 147 people from the local area had become online friends with ‘Bebo McKay’.
Donal said: “Word really spread about Bebo, we even received a call about someone buying a miniature black pooch in Portaferry. My uncle Dominic drove the whole way up, but it was not her. But it shows how far word got out about Bebo.”
The McKay's PR campaign for Bebo paid off on the afternoon of Thursday, June 24, when a woman who was coming home from a funeral spotted Bebo off the Ballylesson Road.
Dominic said: “Our older pet barked when we got to the field. A few moments later Bebo appeared out of the hedge and bounded over to us. We couldn’t believe it. We took her to the vets to get her checked over — she was dehydrated and had a minor infection but everything is fine with her now.”
Dominic added: “We would like to thank everyone who helped, the whole community really supported us, it’s heart warming.”