Arriving at the stables a couple of weeks ago, I was greeted by Maisie, my youngest grandchild, barely able to contain her excitement. Elated she was pointing towards the barn exclaiming, “Look, there’s haylage in the barn...a big, new bale.”

And what is so exciting about haylage you may ask? Well, to a pony mad eight year old, when haylage is brought into the barn, it is a sure sign that Christmas is just around the corner. Oh, if only we could all look forward to Christmas with the enthusiasm of an eight year old.

But sadly for some, this time of year can highlight areas and memories that are not all that merry and bright.

I have recently had contact with a lady from the Lothian Estate on the Scottish Borders who has been telling me how, on December 28, it will be a year since her family’s two Border Terriers were stolen.

Ruby and Beetle are mother and daughter and much-loved family pets belonging to Georgie Bell, her husband Edward and their three children.

Although the dogs were living on the Scottish Borders at the time of their disappearance, it has been widely acknowledged that they could now be anywhere in the country.

Those of you who know Border Terriers will know what independent, cheeky and totally adorable little dogs they are, and Ruby and Beetle are no exception.

So when they disappeared together, out on a shoot with their family on the estate where they had both grown up, an area that they both knew very well, it was thought at first that they had taken themselves off home.

This is the sort of thing that my son’s Border Terrier Bertie, at the age of 11, would still do given half a chance. Sadly, this was not to be the case for Ruby and Beetle and heartbroken owner Georgie has vowed that she will never give up her search until her dogs are found.

After suffering months of torment, on August 15 there was finally a positive lead when information from Pet Scanner revealed that Beetle’s microchip number had been input into the Identibase chip checker online tool, not once but twice and in quick succession at 17.16pm and 17.17pm.

After frantic calls to Identibase it was revealed that the company does not record the IP address of anyone searching their database, so although the person who input the number would see that Beetle had been reported as stolen, there is no way that that person can be contacted; they would have to voluntarily come forward.

As it is now law that all dogs and puppies from eight weeks of age are micro-chipped, would it not also make sense if there was a law to ensure that all dogs belonging to new clients had their micro-chipped routinely checked on their first visit to their vet?

In fact, should not new dogs belonging to existing clients be checked to make sure that their recorded details are up to date?

For more information about this visit Home - Vets Get Scanning where you can read all about Fern’s Law, an online petition asking for this change to be implemented.

Meanwhile the Bell family have captured the hearts of dog lovers across the country and now have a massive Facebook following of over 14,000 people joining them in the search for Ruby and Beetle.

To coincide with the anniversary of their disappearance the already substantial reward for their safe return has been given a further boost and now stands at a massive £20,000 in total.

That is £10,000 for the return of Ruby and £10,000 for the return of Beetle. Of course, there is no guarantee that the dogs will still be together and their coats may now be overgrown, so they may look a little different to the photographs, but someone, somewhere knows the whereabouts of these little dogs and especially now, with the season of goodwill approaching, wouldn’t it be wonderful if they could be returned to their family in time for Christmas?

If you have any information that might help, Georgie Bell can be contacted confidentially on 07885 712165.