Kind milkmen from Saffron Walden embody the spirit of Christmas

PUBLISHED: 12:00 22 December 2016 | UPDATED: 15:24 22 December 2016

Cockapoo Barney with Seb, 13 and Ollie 11.

Cockapoo Barney with Seb, 13 and Ollie 11.

Archant

Two milkmen made Christmas come early for two families after reuniting a lost dog with its owners and a mum with her handbag.

Milkman John Cooper who found a stolen handbag and used Facebook to find it's owner.Milkman John Cooper who found a stolen handbag and used Facebook to find it's owner.

Terry Jennings was hailed a hero after finding Barney the cockapoo dog, who had been missing from his Saffron Walden home for three days.

His colleague John Cooper found a stolen handbag in Stansted, and reunited it with its Elsenham owner.

It was 4am when Terry saw a frightened Barney in a field.

Terry said: “The more I tried to catch him, the more he ran off and I was scared he would run in the road. I tried to catch him for 40 minutes.

“At one point I blocked him and another driver drew up, but I still couldn’t catch him, and I had to continue my round. I got to Saffron Walden and saw a notice about a lost dog with a number, so I rang.”

For the previous two days the family, including Seb, 13, and Ollie, 11, who have had Barney since he was a puppy, had been desperate. Mum Caroline said: “My husband was out both nights looking for him.

“We posted on Facebook and put up posters, and were told of sightings – but every time we got there, he’d gone somewhere else.

“He could have been anywhere. We were completely distraught.

“It was only when Terry phoned us and took us to the place that we knew where to look.

“Barney just popped up. He was so traumatised it took 15 minutes to coax him over. When he first saw me he had his tail between his legs and looked miserable. Once we got within sniffing distance there was tail wagging and crying and licking, he was so happy.

“We are so grateful to Terry. He didn’t have to phone us at 4am and he didn’t have to spend all that time trying to catch him.”

She added: “We’re grateful to everyone. People were so kind. It seemed the whole of Saffron Walden was looking for him.

“One lady, Lisa, who I had never met before, took me home with her after the first night of searching to give me a bacon sandwich and a cup of tea.

“We were blown away by people’s kindness and willingness to help a stranger. “It reaffirmed our faith in humanity.”

Terry, a father of two said: “I was just relieved the dog had been found. I have a cockapoo myself and know how lovely they are.”

John, whose round includes Stansted and Elsenham, found the handbag containing a passport and a driving licence and used Facebook to find someone who recognised the woman in the photographs.

John said: “The lady had left her bag in the car and it had been taken – fortunately, her purse wasn’t in it but all these documents were.”

Joy Allen, the handbag owner, said: “I’m really grateful, it was a really wonderful thing John did.

“I’m pleased there are good characters like milkmen, looking out for their local community.”

Both milkmen have been named as Hero of the Month by their employer, milk&more, and been given a prize of £100 gift vouchers.

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