As It Happens

This dog has been on the lam for 7 months on a Scottish island

Emma Campbell has tried everything to lure Drogo home — including putting out prime cuts of meat and adopting his long-lost sister.

Drogo the Bosnian rescue dog has become a local celebrity on the island of Arran

Drogo, a skittish dog adopted from a Bosnian animal shelter, has been on the run for seven months on the Scottish island of Arran. (Finding Drogo/Facebook )

Emma Campbell has tried everything to entice her dog Drogo to come home — including putting out prime cuts of meat and adopting his long-lost sister.

The Bosnian rescue dog has been on the lam on the Scottish island of Arran since he first bolted from Campbell during a walk on Sept. 13, 2017.

"He's just so, so scared. He's a very timid, scared dog," Campbell told As It Happens host Carol Off.

"And he's also very, very smart, unfortunately for us."

Campbell adopted Drogo last year from a shelter in Sarajevo after seeing a Facebook post about the plight of dogs in Bosnia.

She only had the timid mutt for four weeks before he made his great escape. 

"He was always very wary of strangers, and then the four days travelling by van here, I think, just traumatized him," Campbell said.

"It's such a shame, my heart broke for him when he arrived. We were determined to give him all the love and time and the care he needed to try and settle in with us."

Emma Campbell says she looks for her missing dog Drogo almost every night. (Finding Drogo/Facebook)

But Drogo doesn't seem to want to settle in with anyone.

"He won't approach people. If people come near, he runs in the opposite direction," she said.

Smelly meat and smelly clothes

Campbell has been out searching for him steadily for seven months, and has been tracking his wanderings with the help of wildlife cameras placed around the island and tips from Arran residents.

The runaway pooch has become a local celebrity in Arran, she said, especially after his story was picked up by the news.

Not only do folks keep an eye out for Drogo and alert Campbell to his whereabouts — they also donate enticing food, like liver and other prime cuts of raw meat, to lure the dog. 

Drogo has been spotted several times on wildlife cameras since he ran away from his Scottish owners last fall. (Finding Drogo/Facebook )

Campbell said she's set up food stations in a bid to get him returning to the same spots regularly.

She's put out traps, which Drogo has keenly keenly avoided.

She put out items that are scented like female dogs in heat, but Drogo has not shown any interest. 

She even contacted one of the only human beings she knows who has ever earned Drogo's trust — a Sarajevo shelter worker named Julia.

"She actually wore a couple of T-shirts for days and days," Campbell said. 

"She slept in them, he went to the rescue centre in them ... until they were nice and smelly, and packed them off and sent them by post out here in Scotland so we could use them as scent items to cut up and tie on trees."

Drogo's sister Goldie

If Drogo won't come home to his adopted family, Campbell figured he might come home to his biological one. 

So she adopted Drogo's sister Goldie from the same Bosnian shelter. 

Goldie is much more social, Campbell said, and has settled in with the family happily. 

"We were walking Goldie in the areas where Drogo had been to see if that would entice him to follow the scent and get him home," she said.

Emma Campbell adopted Drogo's sister Goldie in the hopes she would entice her brother to come home. (Finding Drogo/Facebook )

Campbell worries that if she doesn't catch Drogo, something bad will happen to him or he'll go after somebody's livestock.

"I feel a huge amount of responsibility. I brought him here," she said.

"He's in this situation and the responsibility lies squarely on my shoulders, so I think I owe it to him to get him to safety now."

Written by Sheena Goodyear. Interview produced by Sarah Jackson.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?