Foxy the mongrel saves missing 73-year-old

Foxy, a little mongrel, has become something of a local hero in Ponte de Lima after leading her owners to a 73-year-old man who had been missing for six days.

Joaquim Dias was found yesterday morning (March 19, coincidentally Father’s Day). He was “injured, undernourished but conscious” in a ditch not far from the nursing home from which he went missing.

“We usually take Foxy on walks around the area but this time we noticed she kept going to a specific spot. My husband realised that something was wrong, and that’s when he saw the man in the ditch,” Alexandra Pereira told Jornal de Notícias.

The couple quickly called the police. Local fire chief Carlos Lima said Dias had been in the ditch for “two to three days” as he had pressure sores.

Still, the fact that he was found alive was the best present his daughter Inês could have hoped for – particularly on Father’s Day.

“I started crying with happiness. We had been holding on to the hope that he was alive,” she told the newspaper.

“I owe a big ‘thank you’ to Foxy and her owners, but also to my family and the staff at the nursing home, all of whom were tireless in their searches,” she added.

Her recovering father is now receiving medical treatment at Viana do Castelo Hospital.

“If it hadn’t been for Foxy, we would never have found the man,” Alexandra Pereira concluded. “Foxy was originally found by us in a very fragile state. In a way, her life was saved – and now she too has saved a life.”