RON the elderly dog is back snoozing in his favourite armchair at his St Dogmaels home, blissfully unaware that he has become the most famous dog in west Wales after going missing for 48 hours.

Owners Mick Kendall and Jane Roberts were starting to lose hope on Saturday that their beloved pet would ever return after vanishing through an open gate while their septic tank was being emptied on Thursday morning.

Despite a huge social media appeal and extensive searches by villagers, it remained a case of ‘doggone’ for two long days and nights.

But on Saturday a neighbour named Mark rang Mick to say he thought he had spotted Ron in his back garden in Cwm Degwel.

Reliving the moment owners and pet were joyfully reunited, Mick said: “We dashed round to Mark’s place and when I called Ron this whole bush shook and his head popped out.

“When I picked him up I was shaking. Jane burst into tears and gave Mark, who she had never met before, this most almighty hug. The poor guy’s face was an absolute picture!

“Ron is our life  – our whole world revolves around him, so we were devastated when he went missing.

“If it wasn’t for the support and messages we received I don’t know how we could have kept going, but the community spirit of St Dogmaels is out of this world.

“As chair of the community council I know better than anyone that not everything goes smoothly – but when the chips are down everyone pulls together.”

Mick and Jane, who have owned the former rescue dog ever since he was found lying on a road in Turkey as a puppy, watched how the search for their pet unfolded with mounting incredulity.

“The number of people out looking for Ron was absolutely amazing,” Mick told the Tivyside. “Jane and I didn’t sleep for two nights, but everywhere we went people were out looking for him

“And it was not the majority, it was everyone we seemed to come across!

“All kinds of scenarios run through your mind. Has he been taken? Could he have been knocked down?

“Because of Ron’s age, the fact we mollycoddle him and he’s not a street dog, we were beginning to fear the worst.

“The Priory Vets team went out of their way to get him checked over – apart from a broken claw and blisters on his other back paw he’s in pretty decent shape.”

In a Facebook post, the couple said: “Thank you for your kindness – you have all been amazing.”

St Dogmaels councillor Jo Hutchings, who co-ordinated the search campaign through leaflets, posters and social media, said: “It was such a fantastic effort from everyone ranging from those who went out looking to those who shared posts seen by 130,000 people and also to those who just cared.

“I honestly thought there would not be a good outcome. Mick and Jane live in the Cwm and there are so many paths and so rural it was a big search.”