IN a journey reminiscent of Homeward Bound, a plucky puppy who is terrified of humans has completed an incredible 18-hour journey to return to the loving arms of his owner.
Brieze, the eight-month old collie cross, was given up for dead when he escaped from a house in Staverton on Thursday and disappeared into a 400-acre cornfield.
But Brieze made an incredible 10-mile journey across unfamiliar territory and the busy M5 to the home of his owner's parents in Leckhampton.
Owner Sarah Walter, 49, of Up Hatherley, who supports children with special needs, said: "He was with a carer for the day because I had to take my other dog for some chiropractor treatment.
"He had been there before and he knows her. But I had a phone call to say he had escaped. He's a bit like an eel and gets past you if he wants to. He had managed to squeeze through the secure paddock and into an exterior area.
"The police called to say he had been sighted on the M5 and had been hit by a car.
"They told me that Brieze had been hit as he crossed the M5. They added that he had run off, but I believed that being hit at 70 mph would not be survivable.
"I was inconsolable. I didn't know what to do. I didn't think he would have run. I thought he would have stayed in the field.
"I spent the next four hours searching on foot and in my car, up and down the motorway and across the surrounding farmland without success.
"Eighteen hours later I got a call at 4.50am from my mum saying Brieze was barking outside their window. He has an extreme terror of all humans. He's only just been starting to accept my parents."
Brieze is still recovering from the physical exertions of his journey and is expected to fully recover from his experience – after a little more sleep.
Sarah added: "How he got to my parents' house, I don't know. He wouldn't have had a clue how to get there and every time I've gone there with him, I've done the journey in a car. He must have an in-built navigation system.
"My mum just stood back from the door and he ran in.
"He will have been running for 18 hours. He's still shattered now. He's come through his journey quite well."
Brieze has developed an extreme fear of humans which manifests itself in him charging and barking at people and circling them.
He is being referred for psychological help to a behaviourist.
Sarah added: "It manifested itself when I started taking him out for walks.
"I feel I've got to try and get him happy. He's a lovely dog and we just want to cuddle him."