A DOG owner slept under the stars to search for her missing Yorkshire terrier - and breathed a huge sigh of relief when the pooch was found.

Five-year-old Willow Wigglebum, owned by Kristienne Brandreth, of Vicarage Drive, Kendal, went missing while out walking on the Helm.

Kristienne believed Willow disappeared as she chased rabbits down a rabbit hole but was returned to her grateful owner three days later.

"I was out walking with my friend on the Helm quite late, when it was cooler." Kristienne said. "When Willow disappeared I thought she must have gone down a rabbit hole.

"I blew my whistle and called for her, and she is very good and usually comes back. When she didn't I was extremely worried."

Kristienne and a friend returned home and gathered their sleeping bags, sleeping on the Helm and searching for Willow in the morning and night.

"We still couldn't find her," she added. "We did this for three days.

"I posted on social media and there were lots of people helping us."

As hopes of finding the canine faded, she received a text from a fellow dog walker saying he had seen her on the Helm.

A search party went out to try and find her again but it was to no avail. Then another text came in saying that Willow had been sighted near Oxenholme train station.

"I used to walk my dogs round near the train station," said Kristienne. "So we went back there and I was blowing my whistle. We were looking for three hours.

"Then we heard that a lady called Nicola had managed to catch Willow by catching her toe in her collar.

"I was ecstatic when I found out, but I was also worried about the state I would find Willow in. I thought she might be injured because she had been seen crossing roads."

However, other than being dirty and having a sunburned nose, Willow was okay.

Kristienne added: "She is doing really well. She is as cheeky as ever and still loves her walks, but she isn't allowed to go chasing rabbits anymore.

"I am so grateful to everybody who responded on social media and helped me find her. I just want to thank them all. People who don't even know me were out on the Helm keeping an eye out for a Yorkshire terrier."