A man is stunned after his dog went missing in a park only to turn up at his friend’s door in Lewisham eight miles away.

Billy the two-and-a-half year old Jack Russell had the adventure of a lifetime after he escaped out of Ashburton Park in Croydon around 4.30pm last Friday (October 16).

His owner, 58-year-old Ernest Bado, told News Shopper: “He’s usually very good, it’s never happened before. I looked back and I saw him run right out of the park.

“He must have been scared by something."

Giving chase, he spent an hour searching for Billy with no luck.

MORE TOP STORIES Miraculously he was spotted by the local vet en route to Mr Bado’s house near Addiscombe Way.

But a neighbour who tried to catch him inadvertently scared him off by chasing him down the road.

He said: “My first thought is he would be run over by a vehicle. I didn’t think we would never find him again.

“He’s a very popular dog, he’s got a lot of people who love him.”

The former trading standards worker posted his missing pet online, and there were reported sightings in Anerley Road, heading towards Crystal Palace, around 8.30pm.

Mr Bado jumped in his car and combed the area, but still no sign of Billy.

The distance Billy covered on his own

After fruitlessly driving round he returned home and went to bed.

At around 2am he received a call from the daughter of 59-year-old friend Jane Dyer, from Shell Road in Lewisham, to say Billy was on the doorstep.

Mr Bado said: “We found it incredible that he had managed to do that. We’ve never taken that route, only driven to her house.

“He must have somehow worked out where he was, had an inkling of where he was going.

“I have no idea how he found his way. I thought I would never see him again.

"I would not have thought that was possible if anyone asked me.

“From the reports we got he looked lost and frightened. I never thought he was intelligent but it seems like the only explanation.”

Mr Bado and Mrs Dyer, who works for Greenwich Council, were both delighted Billy lived to tell the tail.

Knutsford Guardian:

Well-trained Billy