THREE-YEAR-OLD Max would be heartbroken if anything happened to his canine companion and best friend Scooby.
So when the dog disappeared following a break-in while the family holidayed in Tenerife, his parents hoped he would turn up before their son found out he was missing.
Thieves ransacked their Craigleith home on Sunday, stealing a £2000 watch, a works van full of tools and an Audi S3 parked outside.
But Laura Finnie and partner Ben Matthews were more concerned about how their toddler would react when he discovered the friendly Staffie was missing and were delighted when Scooby turned up in a neighbour’s garden the following evening.
Laura, 41, said: “He is such a lovely dog. The dog sitter had been checking in on him while we were away and saw that the house had been broken into.
“He couldn’t hear Scooby barking and phoned me on holiday to let me know what happened. I’m so glad he’s back.
“This would have broken my son’s heart. He still asks about our dog Toffee who had to be put to sleep in October.”
It is believed Scooby, a timid rescue dog, bolted when he heard the thieves breaking in.
Max’s father cut his holiday short by a week, returning to Edinburgh on Monday to find out what had been taken and to put everything back in place in time for when his son and partner return early next week.
All the cupboards had been flung open, with the family’s possessions scattered around the floor as the robbers rifled through drawers where they found the keys to the works van and the car. Doors were also smashed.
Police forensic teams have this week been combing the house for evidence.
“I don’t want them to come back to that,” said Ben. “But the main thing is that the dog is back.”
The family had been so keen to find Scooby that they had been prepared to offer a £400 reward for his safe return and launched a social media campaign to track him down.
The family is still counting the cost of the damage and working out what was taken in the theft on Sunday.
Jason Wringe, the professional dog walker, said: “When I came to check in on Scooby, the garage door was open and the dog didn’t bark and when I walked in, I saw that part of the door was smashed.
“Every cupboard was open. They were clearly looking for car keys.”
A Police Scotland spokesman confirmed they were investigating the incident, which happened some time between 5pm and 8pm on Sunday and that inquiries were ongoing to trace those responsible.