We Help Find Pop Star Gilbert's Missing Pal

Source: News of the World

Writer: John Clare

Date: 1979

Pop star Gilbert O'Sullivan has beenre-united with his collie Leo - thanks to the News of the World.

Gilbert, 32, was frantic with worry after Leo disappeared 12 days ago.  He feared the collie had been "dognapped" and sold to stud.

Last Sunday he asked readers to help him trace his 2-year-old pet, and within hours a lorry driver telephoned to report a sighting at Chertsey, Surrey.

Gilbert says: "The man had seen the News of the World story and was sure it was the right dog.

"I spent all day in a mini-cab touring the streets looking for Leo.  But he'd gone again."

"I went home to Weybridge mserable and depressed.

"But as I was walking up the road, a woman said "Is this your dog?" and there was Leo - playing with her bitch.  He'd been chasing it all day.


"The woman guessed it was Leo because a friend had shown her the News of the World.  I'm sure I'd never have gotten him back but for the publicity."

"I still don't know where he was while he was missing, but I'm sure somebody was looking after him.

"Those four days were the most miserable I can remember.  I couldn't sleep or work.

"I'd convinced myself I'd have to get used to life without him.

"When I found him he'd been well-fed, and his coat had been groomed.  If he'd been sleeping rough, it would have showed.

"I suspect he might have been staying with children, because he loves kids.  he's such a friendly dog.

"Offer him a bone and he'll follow you to the end of the earth. - he's got no loyalty," joked bachelor Gilbert.  For the first day of his search Gilbert was helped by his bride-to-be, blonde Norwegian air hostess Ase Brekke.

"Ase and my mother were even more upset than me," said Gilbert.

"When Ase flew to Los Angeles I felt even lonlier.  It was unbearable.  We telephoned each other every two hours so I could keep her in touch with the news.

"Leo's a beautiful dog.  I've had him since he was six weeks old.

"I was exercising him on a golf course when he ran off.  At first I wasn't too worried.  He has run away for a couple of hours before.

"It sounds silly, but I don't think of him as a dog.  He's more like a friend witha personality of his own.

"He's a great frisbee catcher and loves romping in the fields.

"Leo also loves music but not particularly mine - he usually sleeps through that.

"He's a lovable rogue.  He does have a few annoying habits - for example, he leaves puddles on the carpet instead of going outside.

"Apart from that he's well behaved.  The house was dull without him.

"I won't let him off his lead again when we're out.  I'd hate to go through all that headache again."