'Britain's luckiest dog' is rescued from root 'tomb'

Barking up the wrong tree! ‘Britain’s luckiest dog’ is rescued from root ‘tomb’ where she was trapped overnight after jumping in chasing squirrels

  • Teazle, eight, became trapped under root in the woods at Milton Abbas, Dorset
  • The terrier cross had run off to chase squirrels during afternoon walk on May 7
  • Dog’s eyes were spotted peeping out the next day by owner Clare Tredrea’s son 
  • Clare and her family spent 45 minutes using a saw to cut away six-inch-thick root

A terrier cross has been heralded as ‘Britain’s luckiest dog’ after being rescued from a tree root ‘tomb’ where she was trapped overnight.

Teazle, eight, got entangled under the roots after jumping in while chasing squirrels during an afternoon walk in the woods at Milton Abbas, Dorset, with her owner Clare Tredrea on May 7.

The 56-year-old never normally worries about Teazle scampering off as there are no roads nearby, and the woods are their ‘usual stomping ground’.

But when Teazle failed to return home with her two other dogs, the self-employed mother-of-two started to panic.


Teazle, eight, was rescued (right) after running off to play during an walk in the woods at Milton Abbas, Dorset, on May 7, becoming trapped under tree roots (left) 

Jack Tredrea, Clare’s eldest son, 27, and his girlfriend Emma Townsend, 28, pictured with the black terrier cross. The pooch has since been heralded as ‘Britain’s luckiest dog’

After searching well into the night for Teazle, Clare and her family started to fear the worst and waited to resume their hunt in the morning.

The family got a stroke of ‘sheer luck’ around 8am as Clare’s eldest son, Jack, 27, spotted Teazle’s two ‘beady eyes’ peering out from under the roots.

On her squirrel chase, the black pooch had found her way into an opening but instantly became ‘wedged’ as the hole was so narrow.

With Teazle unable to move in the tiny crevice, her owners had to get a saw and spent the next 45 minutes cutting her free before taking her home for food, water and lots of cuddles.

The family believe that if Jack hadn’t been standing in the right spot at the right time, Teazle would have been lost forever and the tree roots would have become her ‘tomb’. 

Clare, from Dorset, said: ‘The silly thing is, we had all walked past that tree so many times on our search even with the other dogs and none of us had spotted her. 

‘You had to be stood basically on top of the roots to see her. You couldn’t see her from any other angle.

‘By some stroke of sheer luck, Jack had managed to stop in exactly the right place. It was pure fluke. She is the luckiest dog.

‘It was not a big space at all. Teazle was in there, bent in a U-shape with her shoulder wedged under a tree root. She was really, really stuck.’

She added: ‘Luckily, she’d been quite safe in there overnight. Her bottom was the only thing sticking up so a few badgers might have had a sniff but that’s it.

‘But if we hadn’t found her, Teazle would have definitely died in there. We’ve started calling that tree Teazle’s tomb.

‘It just shows you really do have to look everywhere. We had checked every fence line, every hole we knew of, the undergrowth. We never thought to check the trees.

Teazle pictured trapped in the tree root. Owner Claire said: ‘If we hadn’t found her, Teazle would have definitely died in there. We’ve started calling that tree Teazle’s tomb’


It took the family 45 minutes to saw away (left) three segments of the strong six-inch-thick tree root to free the terrier cross. Right: the tree after being sawed away

‘In hundreds of acres of woodland, if we’d had to search every tree we never would have found her in time. She is really really lucky.’

Clare was not worried about Teazle running off as she knows the area and likes to ‘do her own thing’.

The owner said: ‘She is always chasing squirrels, she loves it. She doesn’t usually chase them far though because she only has short legs.

‘But when I got to the top of the drive and Teazle still wasn’t with me, I started to panic and we went out searching.’ 

Clare, her husband Andrew, 59, their son Jack and Jack’s girlfriend Emma Townsend, 28, spent the next five hours armed with torches, checking every rabbit hole, badger’s den and fence line as they knew Teazle had to be stuck somewhere.

Despite repeatedly calling her name, they never heard a sound from the trapped dog and were forced home as darkness fell.

Clare spent the night sleeping on the kitchen floor, waiting for Teazle to come home.

After setting out at 5am the next day and putting up posters, Clare received a phone call from Jack to say he’d found their pup.

Mother-of-two Clare Tredrea, 56, on a walk with her three dogs – black terrier cross Teazle and two black Labradors Fly and Gemma, both aged 11

Teazle pictured at home safe and sound after spending the night trapped under a tree root. The owner, Clare, said: ‘She is always chasing squirrels, she loves it’

She said: ‘It was a huge relief. You do start to think the worst and that you might not find them. It was awful.

‘He and his girlfriend Emma had heard Teazle barking but every time they moved closer, she would stop.

‘They were stopped, waiting for her to make some more noise and Jack was just scanning the area when all of a sudden he saw these two beady eyes looking out from the hole in the tree.

‘He said he didn’t even realise what he was seeing at first and had to look again. Then he realised it was the whites of Teazle’s eyes as she did her best frightened dog face.’

After a few failed attempts to lift her from the hollow, Teazle’s owners realised the only way they would be able to get her out would be to cut away the tree root.

Andrew went home and grabbed a few saws and Emma bravely shielded Teazle with her hands as the men cut through the thick tree root to free her.

The rescue mission was a success and Teazle was freed from the hole completely unscathed and reunited with the family’s two Labradors, Fly and Gemma, both 11. 

Clare’s three dogs Teazle, Gemma and Fly out for a walk in the woods. The owner was not worried about Teazle running off as she knows the area and likes to ‘do her own thing’

Teazle, above, was ‘a bit quiet’ at first but was ‘back to her normal self’ the following day. She is described as an ‘enormous character and the bossiest member of the family’

The lucky pup is now completely back to herself but hasn’t learned her lesson as she still insists on chasing squirrels on her daily walks.

Clare said: ‘We were out searching for her until about 10 that night. We were searching and shouting for her and there was just nothing coming back. She never made a peep. It was so upsetting.

‘We thought of all the places she could possibly be. There are no roads nearby so we weren’t worried she’d been hit or picked up by someone.

‘She knows her way around so we knew she wasn’t lost. She had to be stuck somewhere or something bad had happened to her.

‘It made it worse knowing that if she was trapped or hurt, she was so close to home but we just couldn’t find her.’

She added: ‘Once out, she scampered off down the path towards home where she had a big drink of water, food and a big fuss made of her.

‘She was a bit quiet for that day but by the next day she was back to her normal self and still chasing squirrels. She is an enormous character and the bossiest member of the family.’

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