By Niamh Shackleton
A dad-of-two has thanked his missing dog for his perfect family after meeting his fiancé through the appeal – and now they’ve miraculously found the pup NINE YEARS later.
Rob Smith, 39, from Llanelli, South Wales, lost his black Labrador, Buster, nine years ago after he went missing from his mum’s garden in 2010.
But amazingly, last Saturday morning [June 29] Rob received a call he never thought he’d get from local vets telling him they had Buster.
Buster was only a few months old at the time he was taken and after appealing on Facebook, he received a message from his now fiancé, Samantha Bowen, 33, offering to help find his pooch.
The pair quickly realised they had a romantic connection and are now engaged with two daughters together, Louise, seven, and Mia Grace, one.
Rob, a deputy sales manager, said: “Losing Buster was horrific but the heartbreak was eased when I met Sam online.
“Little did I know that we’d end up spending the next nine years together and we’d have our two daughters together.
“As the months and years passed I did give up on ever finding Buster.
“I received the shock of my life when a vets about 10 miles away rang me while I was at work last weekend.
“A member of the public had seen him roaming around the streets and fortunately took him in to the vets where they scanned him for his tag and got my details.
“I raced around to the vet’s after work and I just burst into tears.
“It was very emotional seeing him again.”
Following Buster’s disappearance in 2010, Rob took to Facebook to launch a campaign in the hope of finding him again.
It was from this that fellow Facebook user Samantha offered her help to find Buster and the couple haven’t looked back since.
Rob said: “Sam noticed that my dog had gone missing she asked if I needed help to find him – but funnily enough I declined her offer as I already had a lot of people helping me.
“After a few weeks she messaged me to if you need a chat sometime I’m there for you and then ended up exchanging numbers – and the rest was history!
“I still tell people now that if Buster hadn’t have gone missing I’d have never met her.
“Our last nine years together have been amazing and Sam really is one in a million – it’s an added bonus I have my two lovely daughters too.”
Since his reunion with Buster, Rob has brought his four legged friend home to meet his family.
Rob has another Labrador, Bruno, who he says gets on like a house on fire with his new furry brother Buster.
He added: “Bruno was over the moon to have another dog to play with and they get on ridiculously well.
“It’s so surreal seeing them both together as I, of course, never thought they would meet.
“Having Buster back really is amazing – I can’t believe I got my best friend back after all this time.”