Lucky Lottie the dog, who spent the night hiding in a hedge near the busy M4 after an unexpected firework frightened her, has been safely returned to her delighted owners.
The two-and-a-half-year-old collie-cross had stopped off with her owner Aidan Hassan for the night at a hotel at Heston service station, after visiting Aidan's son in London.
During an evening walk, a loud explosion spooked Lottie and she ran away to hide in a hedge. But, lucky Lottie was found after an anonymous call to the Highways England traffic team.
Mr Hassan, of Ynyslas near Aberystwyth, in Wales, said: “We were just taking a quick walk before going to the room for the night when there was an enormous fireworks explosion.
"It was incredibly loud and it spooked and shocked Lottie so much that she managed to pull the lead out of my hand and raced off across the car park into a hedge.
"She was heading directly for the motorway. We called for her and looked around the area all night but couldn’t find her.
"The next morning, just as I was thinking the worst and just as I was about to call our children to let them know that she had gone, I got a phone call from Highways England to say they had found her on the motorway hard shoulder.
"I am absolutely grateful to Bob and Lindy, and Highways England for getting Lottie back to us.”
Lottie was sniffed out by Bob Coulson and colleague Lindy Noonan, Highways England traffic officers from Heston and Chievely (Berkshire), after someone spotted what they thought was an abandoned dog tied to the hard shoulder barrier of the M4.
Wagging her tail, she was thrilled to be back in the arms of Aidan.
Mr Coulson added: "When we went to investigate we couldn’t see anything, but then I just caught a glimpse of a small black head hiding in the shrubs behind the barrier.
"When we got closer we could see that she was well-cared for and not abandoned, but she was cowering and shaking and was obviously very nervous and scared.
"We sat with her and calmed her down until we were able to get a phone number from her collar tag.
"Then we called Mr Hassan and got Lottie into our vehicle to take her back to the service station where Mr Hassan was waiting.
"I’m extremely happy that we were able to reunite Lottie and her family.”