A relieved Deeside family have been reunited with their pet labrador after it went missing for nearly four days in the wilds of Aberdeenshire.
Year old Star disappeared while being walked by friends as Andrew and Jane Douglas and their two young daughters holidayed in Cornwall.
The couple were alerted and the family decided to return home to Finzean to join the search for the yellow labrador.
Star had gone missing in the Crathes area and there were reported sightings of her as far away as Alford - so a major hunt for the pet got under way.
The search involved friends, members of a local running club, mountain bikers, a drone from a media company, and the general public with regular updates being posted on social networking sites.
Meanwhile, their daughters Iona, 9, and Eve, 7, stayed with friends.
Andrew told the Piper: “We were putting posters up everywhere and late on the Wednesday afternoon we got reports that she had been seen in the Tough-Cushnie area.
“Then in the evening we got a call to say your dog has been seen between Comers and Tornaveen.
“We all descended on this area. It was raining, it was pitch black and we were searching the densely-forested woods but we couldn’t find her.”
But the news they had been praying for arrived the following morning when Andrew got a call from a woman living at a farm in the area they had been searching after the dog had wandered into her garden.
Andrew said: “There was this awful moment. She’s got the dog, it’s a yellow lab without a collar, but nobody can be sure it’s our yellow lab. But when she came down with her there was no mistaking it was Star. It was such a relief.”
He added that they had been overwhelmed by the amount of support they had received and were grateful to everyone who had played a part in the dog’s safe return.
Star appears none the worse for her ordeal and is settling back into family life.