• Jackie Bruce is delighted to be reunited with Bess
Jackie Bruce, 42, was distraught when she realised she had left three-year-old Bess tied to a lamppost on Rose Street after buying groceries with son William, eight, from Sainsbury's at St Andrew Square on Monday.
When the mother-of-three realised her mistake, she dashed back to Rose Street – to find Bess had been taken by a stranger.
Luckily for the labrador-terrier cross, that stranger was a dog lover – originally from Poland but living in Edinburgh – who had noticed that Bess had been alone for some time, and took her home with him to save her from the "dogcatcher".
She was reunited with Mrs Bruce and her family at their Leith home on Wednesday.
Mrs Bruce said: "I got a phone call mid-afternoon on Wednesday from a Lucas Franek whose friend had seen one of the posters I had put up about Bess and told him.
"Bess had been shivering in the street because it was a cold night and looked really miserable. He thought she would be taken to the dog pound by a 'dogcatcher' and he didn't know what would happen to her, he thought she would either be in a dog pound for ages or put down, so he pretended she was his and took her home.
"He thought Bess had been abandoned by a homeless person. He loves dogs, he has two dogs in Poland.
"Bess had been very well cared for, she was getting spoilt rotten and he was loving having her."
She added: "I'm chuffed to get my dog back, I was really thrilled."
Mrs Bruce – who was rushing home on Monday to cook for her mum's 71st birthday – forgot to untie Bess from the lamppost, and jumped in a taxi home.
When she realised she had forgotten the dog, she frantically made her way back to Rose Street but Bess was gone, and Mrs Bruce was told by a nearby Big Issue seller that the dog had been taken by a passerby who was foreign, possibly Polish.
With the help of her Polish lodger Roksana Pawalek, Mrs Bruce made posters about Bess's disappearance which were then displayed in Polish delis on Leith Walk and in Sainsbury's on St Andrew Square.
Mrs Bruce's husband Rob, 43, and children Mary, 14, Walter, 12, and William, are equally delighted to be reunited with their pet.
The family had offered a reward for Bess' safe return but Mrs Bruce said Mr Franek "wouldn't take a penny".
She added: "The kids are really happy and relieved. We are all overjoyed. Now we can cheer up and enjoy the rest of the kids' Easter holidays."