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Mountain rescuers find lost dog after luring it with sausages and bacon on disposable BBQ

By Mike Merritt

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Nell is now safely home.
Nell is now safely home.

Mountain rescuers cooked sausages and bacon on a disposable barbecue to try and attract a lost, frightened dog.

Nell, a two year-old collie, ran off on Sunday during the rescue of her custodian and a fellow ultra marathon runner after they got into difficulty in Fisherfield Forest. They were running along part of the Cape Wrath Trail.

Two members of Dundonnell Mountain Rescue Team returned to the scene of the rescue yesterday to search for her.

And the impromptu barbecue was a success – the smell of the food lured Nell out from where she was hiding.

She has been reunited with her owner, Ellen Macaskill, who runs a dog walking business, Happy Trails, in Inverness.

Ellen said her father had taken Nell on the run: "He often takes her on his runs – he is a very keen runner. Dad was not doing the whole trail, just part of it."

Nell ran off after being frightened by the Inverness Coastguard helicopter during the rescue in the early hours of Sunday.

The two ultra marathon runners had been reported overdue from a run the previous night. They were found near Loch an Nid in Fisherfield Forest, an area of the north west Highlands dubbed the "Great Wilderness".

They were suffering from mild hypothermia and were flown from the area by the coastguard helicopter.

Yesterday, Dundonnell team members Alison Smith and Rachel Drummond returned to the scene with their dogs.

As well as packing winter walking kit, they took with them a disposable barbecue.

A spokesman for Dundonnell MRT said: "They fired up the barbeque and soon had sausages and bacon sizzling.

"The desired effect was soon achieved – a confused and anxious Border collie appeared on the horizon, on a rocky hillside.

"Having been lured closer by the smell of food, a nervous Nell was eventually secured and after a picnic lunch, she and her rescuers walked the five miles back to the roadside."

The spokesman said Nell appeared to have been unharmed by her ordeal.

Ellen added:"Nell does not usually have sausages at home . I think she just was wanting home and the smell of the food helped!

"I am so grateful to the mountain rescue team for finding her. I can't thank them enough."

Related story: Cape Wrath runners airlifted to hospital

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