Ella the Chihuahua and Jack Russell cross was saved from the streets of Romania just over a year ago, but is now feared to have been struck and killed by a car on the A74 motorway.
Owner Caroline Nobee from Inverness had stopped off at Gretna Gateway Outlet Village last Monday December 21 for a half-hour coffee break, while driving to spend Christmas at a rented cottage in County Durham.
Caroline said: “We last saw her at the Outlet Village.
“She ran out across the car park, across the road, and down some residential roads, and then we lost her from there.”
Caroline added: “People saw her the next day; they saw her at Greens, round that way.
“And then she was maybe seen up at the Springfield sliproad, but we weren’t ever very confident in that sighting because the person thought she was a fox at first, and it was quite far.”
Ella had been wearing a coat and had a lead attached to her collar with the number for the Nobee’s home in Inverness.
Caroline continued on to County Durham, but issued appeals for sightings.
She said: “We’ve had people saying that they saw a dog being hit on the motorway on Tuesday last week.
“And other people did say that they saw a dog’s body at the side of the road.”
Despite fearing the worst, the family spent Christmas making repeated, daily visits to Gretna. Caroline said: “We’ve been looking for her the entire week. We’re now just starting to accept that she’s gone.
“But it’s hard not to have the closure.”
Upset, and offering a reward, she added: “She was a rescue dog from Romania — she’d been a street dog for a couple of years, so we were hoping she’d be able to look after herself a little bit more than maybe a typical pet dog.”
Police Scotland say a motorist reported they struck a dog on a northbound lane of the M74 at 1.30 pm on December 22.
They said the dog appeared from the central reservation and that it was then struck by other vehicles.
Scotland Transerv operate that section of the road, but say they have yet to retrieve a carcass.