Man who had passport eaten by dog has replacement arrive in nick of time
- Credit: Steve Hunt/Archant
A Dereham man whose naughty puppy ate his passport is finally basking in Cypriot sunshine after getting a replacement at the 11th hour.
Steve Hunt was left distraught after his one-year-old cockapoo, Hattie, chewed up the all-important document last month.
The sitcom-worthy disaster happened at the worst possible time - just over a week before he was due to go on holiday with his wife, Louise.
Desperate to source a replacement, Mr Hunt faced a race against time to make a fast-track appointment at a passport office in Belfast.
Then came a nervous wait to see whether the application would be processed before the couple's scheduled flight to Cyprus on Wednesday, September 6.
But on Tuesday (September 5) morning, their prospects appeared bleak.
"We heard from the passport office to say it may not arrive until Friday," said Mr Hunt.
"The mood was very downbeat. We looked at cancelling the whole thing - so it was lucky we didn't!"
Already resigned to disappointment, Mr Hunt "didn't really pay attention" when he heard a knock at the door later that day.
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His son answered, and was handed a package by a man in a hooded jacket.
"My son said 'Dad, it looks like your passport', at which point I told him to stop winding me up," added the retired police officer.
"But then I saw my name on the envelope, opened it and there it was. I couldn't believe it.
"It was certainly a day of highs and lows. I was relieved and overjoyed."
Mr Hunt immediately called his wife, who was also convinced she was being pranked.
He said: "I phoned Louise straight away and, again, she thought it was a wind-up.
"She got a bit emotional when she realised we would be going. We hadn't packed a thing."
Having frantically packed their bags, Steve and Louise flew to the Mediterranean and have been enjoying a relaxing few days in the sun.
The trip feels even sweeter following a hectic year-and-a-half for Louise, who works at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.
"To finally get here after 18 months has been amazing and makes you appreciate it even more," added Mr Hunt.
"Every moment is very special."