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Lost dog missed ‘to the point of heartbreak’ as 1,100 search for widow’s pet

A massive search is under way in London for the dog of an elderly widow, who she misses “to the point of heartbreak”.

Philomena Boenke, 80, has cherished her dog Brandy for 16 years.

Brandy disappeared while on a walk on Hackney Marshes with Philomena’s son, in his sixties.

He vanished at around 7.30pm, and could not be found despite the family searching late into the night.

This was on October 10, more than three months ago, reports MyLondon.

Philomena, who moved to Leyton from Ireland, has been profoundly deaf since childhood. After losing her husband at a young age, she since lost a daughter, brother, and her other dog.

Because of her deafness, Philomena is afraid that she will not be able to hear Brandy barking if he is nearby.

When Covid restrictions allowed, she went around nearby pet shops and vets to see if she could find any news of her companion.

Often, she would wake in the middle of the night to stand at her front door looking to see if he would return.

Campaign organisers believe Brandy has been stolen.

A volunteer in the campaign to find Brandy spoke about Philomena. They said: "(Philomena) is a resilient, determined, hard-working, capable woman. But she's over 80 and in apandemic .

"She brought her family up on her own, she's a tough cookie. But you see her sometimes and her eyes fill up.

"I've been out there looking late at night. He is not a stupid dog, and the canal was way off. He didn't wander off, he just didn't. It's like he's vanished into thin air.

"She's sweet, kind, humble, grateful, worried about everyone working hard to find Brandy. She doesn't want to be a burden.”

Since the campaign started more than 10,000 posters have been put up around Hackney to help people recognise Brandy if he is spotted.

Philomena also sent a handwritten letter to the vets begging for help to find her missing friend.

An organiser posted in aFacebook group dedicated to finding Brandy , which has over 1,100 members, saying that Philomena is: "becoming ILL at the loss of her boy, her ONLY companion.

"Please now it's time we help her.”

The appeal reads: "Brandy is a pale tan and white Chihuahua Yorkie cross. He has stiff back legs and may seem to be injured, but is a healthy dog and may appear younger than his years. He has a bushy tail, not curly like a Chihuahua. He may seem anxious on the street.

"If you have acquired or seen a similar dog, or simply think you can help, contact 07792420309 . Any costs will be refunded along with a reward for his return."

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