Author Mark Foster has posted the remarkable story of how his beloved springer spaniel Dylan went missing and defied recapture for weeks, on the internet Mr Foster, from High Street, Erlestoke, recalls in the book, DogLost, how Dylan had an epileptic fit in their back garden on January 22 this year.

Mr Foster, a freelance author of children’s books, wrote: “One minute he was tearing around in his habitual pre-walk excitement, tail wagging, tongue lolling.

“The next he was laying on his side in the mud, wild- eyed, foaming at the mouth and kicking in the air as if trying to rid himself of a terrifying vision.”

But this was just the start of the nightmare because, when Dylan recovered from his fit, he ran off through the fence and onto Salisbury Plain.

Despite Mr Foster and his partner, Kate, scouring the area, there was no sign of Dylan and after weeks of fruitless searching they contacted the DogLost website.

Eventually they received an email from a woman named Poppy, who lives the other side of the Wiltshire/ Hampshire border with an attached image of a spaniel and asking “Is this your dog?”

The couple rushed to Sherfield English, and soon identified their missing pet. But things were not so simple after that.

Dylan ran off as soon as he was approached and it took many visits to the area before the prodigal animal was trapped and returned to his home.

Once home, the feral creature with bared teeth and skulking gait returned to his usual placid self.

Mr Foster told the Gazette: “We called the vet who checked him over and he was in surprisingly good condition considering his experiences. He is back to normal now, although he does tend to stick closer to us when we go out for walks and he is a bit more clingy than he used do be.”

The story is told in DogLost available at b/5298248-doglost and is being sold in aid of the DogLost charity.