A heartbroken dog lover has been given new reason to smile with the arrival of a new pet.
Sara Fulton has welcomed tiny Hattie, a miniature Dachshund, to her Hook Norton home.
The pup is helping Mrs Fulton to combat the grief she has suffered since losing her little dog Tilly in April.
Then, the two-year-old bitch, also a miniature Dachshund, went missing on a walk in the fields. She was discovered by hunt staff days later trapped in an underground drainpipe, sadly no longer alive.
Mrs Fulton and her husband Geoffrey had received hundreds of messages of support and offers of help to find her through the Banbury Guardian Facebook page and Twitter.
“My darling wee Tilly will remain forever in my heart but Hattie brings a ‘joie de vivre’ and has a wonderful wee personality already,” said Mrs Fulton.
“I was either going to cry myself to death from a broken heart or drive Geoffrey mad, whichever came first, so this was a decision I made whilst we were away recently. Hattie comes from the same breeder as Tilly.
“Hattie’s pedigree name is Mosiarto Tilly’s Rainbow and aside the Mosiarto prefix being the stud name, the reason behind calling her this is because when we found Tilly, numerous rainbows appeared over the wood where she was lost and found for days afterwards.
“It really was uncanny and I truly believe that these were messages from Tilly. Rainbows will remain a very significant meaning for me,” said Mrs Fulton.
Mrs Fulton, who has lived in Whichford Road for only eight months, said the kindness and support of neighbours and complete strangers on social media had been extraordinary.
“I can’t tell you how grateful I was for their efforts to help me find Tilly; it really renewed my faith in the human race and if nothing else, I feel that I have made some friends through this whole ordeal,” she said.