A mischievous pet pooch became an internet sensation after getting lost in South Shields and picked up by a famous face.
Alfie the Patterdale terrier was given his 15 minutes of fame when he was found wandering the streets alone by comedian Chris Ramsey.
The 28-year-old funnyman and star of TV sitcom Hebburn was driving through Harton Village, South Shields, on Tuesday when he spotted the six-year-old dog at around 4.30pm.
He said: “I didn’t think it was in trouble at first, I regularly stop and point at dogs when I’m in the car, I just like them.
“But this one was standing on some grass chilling out with no owner in sight.
“So I got out of my car, had a look around, gave him a little stroke, then picked him up to check his collar.
“There was no address on it, so I took him to the nearest house and they gave me some string to put through his collar so I could walk him to other houses in the area.”
After failing to find Alfie’s owner and taking him to Vets4Pets, in the Nook, to find he wasn’t microchipped, Chris took the dog home and devised another plan to find his family.
He recruited the help of his 355,000 Twitter followers by posting a picture of Alfie and asking if anyone knew his owner.
He said: “He was just a lush little dog, not a bit of bother. Such a lovely nature and placid. It was great having him.
It was a lovely feeling, felt like I’d done my good deed for the day, plus Alfie had literally just done a dog fart in my car, so it was the perfect time to say bye.Chris Ramsey
“When I took him home he was running around my garden having a daft half-hour, as my mam would say.
“It went viral pretty quickly, the internet is pretty good like that, ask them to share something about a lost animal and they will go above and beyond. .”
The picture of Chris and Alfie was shared by almost 1,000 people, including the likes of Holly Willoughby, who Chris regularly appears alongside on panel show Celebrity Juice.
Someone soon tweeted to say they knew Alfie’s owner and Chris was put in touch with Anne Grey, who had been searching for her pet.
The 54-year-old, of Harton Village, said: “We’ve got builders in doing the kitchen and Alfie was in the sitting room, but a door must have been left open and he’s got out – it’s not the first time either. He is quite adventurous.
“He was originally my son Matthew’s dog but we’ve had him since he moved to Australia in 2010 and my daughter Amelia, who’s 13, was really upset when we couldn’t find him.
“I’ve been meaning to get round to microchipping him for a while – I’m definitely doing it now, as soon as I can.
“I called the vets to ask if anyone had brought him in and when they told me Chris Ramsey had been in with a dog that could be Alfie I couldn’t believe it.
“I don’t do Twitter or Facebook or anything like that so I asked a friend and they helped me get in touch with him.”
She added: “I couldn’t believe it when I saw Alfie’s picture all over the internet and that people like Holly Willoughby had been sharing it – trust something like that to happen to him.
“I’m really grateful to Chris and his wife for looking after him and getting him back to us.
“Amelia was so pleased to have him back and we just can’t believe him going off on one of his wanders got so much attention.”
Chris said: “It was a lovely feeling, felt like I’d done my good deed for the day, plus Alfie had literally just done a dog fart in my car, so it was the perfect time to say bye.”