Ashfield therapy dog Connor who was used as a 'bait dog' in Greece recovers after being hit by a car

Resident, Tony Rutherford and his daughter-in-law Debby meet Connor during his rounds.
Resident, Tony Rutherford and his daughter-in-law Debby meet Connor during his rounds.

A therapy dog in Ashfield is doing his best to prove it is not just cats which have nine lives.

Connor, a gun dog-cross, was used as a “bait dog” in Greece, to test the fighting instincts of other animals.

Resident June Fielding gets her fix of Connor who likes to sit on the sofa with her.

Resident June Fielding gets her fix of Connor who likes to sit on the sofa with her.

Rescued and brought back to Nottinghamshire he became a therapy dog – but was startled by a dustbin lorry while on a morning walk and bolted into the road, where he hit by a car and went missing for 26 hours.

Connor, who is covered in scars and has “bits missing” from his time in Greece, now lives at Wren Hall Nursing Home, which specialised in dementia care, on Nottingham Road, Selston.

And he is now back at the home recovering after his latest ordeal.

Natalie Coles, aged 24, who works in human resources at the home, said staff and the community rallied together to look for Connor after he went missing after he was hurt, with some still looking for him during the middle of the night.

Caitlyn and Sam from the Little Wrens Nursery give Connor a cuddle with nursery nurse Kirsty Smith.

Caitlyn and Sam from the Little Wrens Nursery give Connor a cuddle with nursery nurse Kirsty Smith.

She said: “We knew he had been hit by a car, but didn’t know the extent of his injuries – we didn’t know if he had survived or not.”

She said Connor, who is aged between two and four, has proved an asset to the home, providing comfort to relatives of end-of-life patients and helping residents with memory loss, who know his name.

Natalie said: “Having a therapy pet is proven to have a positive affect, it gives people an uplift and improves feeling.

“When someone is in distress, Connor walking into the room can change their mood drastically – you have to see it to believe it.”

Sister Dorothea Way greets Connor on his rounds in the Wren Hall Nursing Home.

Sister Dorothea Way greets Connor on his rounds in the Wren Hall Nursing Home.

After receiving a call from a Selston resident, Natalie and Amber Stapleton, the Nottingham Trent University student who brought Connor back from Greece, found him near the Co-op on Nottingham Road tangled in bushes.

Natalie said: “He has a bit of a limp, but is okay – I would like to thank everyone who went out to look for him.”

Connor has been at the home since October, after he was found by Amber while she was volunteering at Zante Strays, a dog centre in Greece.

She said: “He has had a terrible life. He would sleep under a caravan and when you came in in a morning he would come running up.”

Connor the rescue dog meets Brian Hayler, a resident at the Wren Hall Nursing Home, and care assistant Claire Mizen, right, and Amber Stapleton who brought Connor over from Greece.

Connor the rescue dog meets Brian Hayler, a resident at the Wren Hall Nursing Home, and care assistant Claire Mizen, right, and Amber Stapleton who brought Connor over from Greece.

Amber brought Connor back to the UK after being told they were “made for each other”.

However, after getting him home in September, she found he would “try to eat her cats”.

She then offered him to the home where her 86-year-old gran Muriel Wolfe lives.

She said: “They love him and I still get to see him.”