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HOME SWEET HOME; Dog lover Brian travels 500 miles for abandoned pooch.

Byline: By ANDREW GREGORY

SHUNNED mongrel Walter has finally found a home after five years on his own - with a man who flew 500 miles to meet him.

The lonely collie cross-breed has spent most of his life in a rehoming centre after he was abandoned as a four-month-old puppy.

But friendly Walter has now landed a new best friend.

Dog lover Brian Dean first spotted Walter on a website and flew from Marlborough, England, to meet him in Ballymena, Co Antrim.

After three days getting to know the pooch, Brian offered him a home.

The 53-year-old landscape gardener said: "I thought long and hard about the decision to rehome Walter. Not because I had any apprehension about him but because we wanted to make sure we could give him that home he has never had."

Brian first met Walter when he flew to Northern Ireland early last month.

A few weeks later a behaviour adviser from Ballymena Dogs Trust Centre travelled with Walter and spent a few days helping him settle in at his new home.

Brian added: "We accomplished so much in the three days we spent with him that we knew it was meant to be.

"We look forward to giving Walter all the time and space he needs to settle in.

"We live in the countryside so he has plenty of space to run around and play football, the game he loves so much."

Ballymena Dogs Trust Centre manager Mary Carney said: "It touched our hearts that Brian has travelled so far for Walter.

"It just goes to prove the right home is out there for each and every dog and because Dogs Trust will never put a healthy dog down we have been able to care for Walter for all of this time.

"We are so glad Walter and Brian have found each other and although we are sad to say goodbye, we are just overjoyed that he has found a home."

The Dogs Trust cares for more than 15,000 stray or abandoned dogs every year at its 17 centres across the UK.

IF you would like to offer a home to any of the dogs at Ballymena Dogs Trust Centre call 028 2565 2977.

andrew.gregory@mirror.co.uk

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HAVING A BALL: New owner Brian Dean gets to know Walter who spent five years at Dogs Trust Centre in Ballymena
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 12, 2007
Words:399
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