A beloved dog has been returned to her owner after being missing for seven painful years.

Sprocker spaniel Flash, 11, was reunited with heartbroken owner Emma Drewett, 49, after being rescued from a breeder.

Gamekeeper Emma said the wait was a “living hell” not knowing if her much-loved pet was safe, or even alive.

Flash was stolen in 2015, with Emma and her teenage son Luke fearing they would never see their pup again.

A nationwide appeal proved fruitless and the family’s hopes waned over the following seven years.

Emma said “thousands” of people helped to share missing posts all over social media – but the search turned up nothing.

But incredibly, Flash was found by a kind dog -lover almost 200 miles away from Emma’s home in Little Marlowe, Bucks.

Emma was contacted by a woman called Michelle who lived in South Wales who had bought Flash from a local breeder.

But after a check-up at the vets Michelle discovered the elderly dog was microchipped and belonged to Emma and her family.

Tragically, Michelle and Flash had been living together for seven months already, and had forged a close bond.

But hero rescuer Michelle did the right thing and handed back the dog to her rightful owners.

Last weekend came the emotional reunion the family had been waiting so long for.

Emma said: “It’s quite unbelievable that after seven years Flash is back home with us.

“At first she just stared at me and my partner, but then the manic tail wagging started and she was jumping all over us.

“There have thousands and thousands of shared posts by people on social media and I wish I could thank each of you personally.

“It’s the end of a weird chapter, seven years of living hell not knowing where she was or what had happened, but she’s home now.

“I would really like to thank Michelle Burrow who bought Flash not knowing she’d been stolen and gave her a loving home for seven months.

“It was really difficult for her to hand Flash back as they had developed a close bond.

“If it wasn’t for Michelle we’d still be searching.”

She added: “Flash was only found because she was microchipped and this case shows how vital it is for owners to get their dogs chipped and keep information updated.”

Sprocker spaniels live to an average age of 12 to 15 years.

It’s feared Flash was palmed off when she was no longer useful to breeders.