Video and photo gallery: Miracle as puppy Domino emerges from the storm - three weeks after disappearing
A mighty storm named after the patron saint of lost causes has offered up an 'extraordinary little miracle' in Suffolk.
St Jude's ferocious winds, which tore down trees, power lines and property may also have rescued a dishevelled young pup from her earthy tomb.
Domino, the 11-month-old terrier, was last seen bounding off down a rabbit hole in Great Glemham, where her heartbroken owners – after much frantic searching – had resigned themselves to her death.
But on Monday, three weeks after her disappearance, as St Jude's battered the region, Domino made her 'Lazarus-like' return.
'Perhaps thanks to St Jude?' pondered Jason Gathorne-Hardy, one of Domino's amazed owners.
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'Beyond all else, she was a lost cause if ever there was one – lost and buried underground.
'We had given up all hope, but somehow she reappeared from the storm.
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'Miracles do happen – in the strangest ways.'
Mr Gathorne-Hardy's mother Lady Caroline Cranbrook could not imagine the poor creature had survived underground all that time, but when Domino arrived 'half crawling, staggering across the lawn' there seemed to be no other explanation.
Lady Caroline's daughter Flora first glimpsed the dishevelled young pup from her bedroom window, stained yellow with sand, skeletal and filthy from her weeks spent underground.
'Our reaction was one of absolute disbelief,' Lady Caroline said. 'We were all thrilled and flabbergasted that she had returned.'
The family believe the storm had succeeded where their day-and-a-half of desperate digging had failed and freed Domino from the warren as the winds upended a tree above.
Lady Cranbrook added: 'We were resigned that she must have died, poor little dog.
'It was horrible to think of any creature dying like that in an enclosed space underground, but something must have shifted and freed her – it's quite extraordinary really.'
Domino is now making a healthy recovery back in the family fold with her mother Tahra and grandmother Solo.
But despite her miraculous ordeal she appears to have lost none of her
near-fatal fascination for rabbits.
'My daughter took her out today and the first thing she did was run down a rabbit hole,' Lady Caroline lamented.