UK pair pay 4,000 for stray dog

A couple spent 4,000 on bringing back a starving dog that followed them for eight hours while on a holiday trek.

Mears followed the couple for eight hours over rocky terrain

Nicola and Jonathan Cooksley were walking near an extinct volcano in Sao Miguel in the Azores when an abandoned puppy tagged along and would not leave.

He followed them through a lake and up a steep incline for hours. The pair, from Dorset, eventually became so fond of him that they paid to fly him home.

They have since named him Mears, after TV survivalist Ray Mears.

Mears, thought to be a six-month old Portuguese pointer, is now in quarantine in Somerset for six months.

Mother-of-two Mrs Cooksley, 47, a management consultant from Martinstown, told the BBC News website: "When we first saw him he was in a terribly emaciated state. His whole chest was just bones, just ribs.

"He was absolutely determined to stay with us - there was no way he was going to give up, even though his paws were bleeding and his claws were worn down to virtually nothing."

After their holiday, the Cooksleys arranged for Mears to be flown to the UK via Lisbon after checking with the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs what steps they would have to take.

Mrs Cooksley even flew out to Lisbon to accompany Mears on the final leg of his journey and now regularly travels 30 miles to see him in quarantine.

"I see him most days. He's doing very well and has put on a tremendous amount of weight," she said.

His paws were bleeding and his claws were worn down to virtually nothing. --Nicola Cooksley