A FEARLESS sausage dog decided to take his walkies into his own paws after escaping his Colchester home... and sneakily boarding a bus bound for the seaside.

Pampered pooch Frank, a four-year-old dachshund, went missing from the doorstep of his home in Hollymead Close, Colchester, at about 3.30pm on Tuesday.

Owner Michelle Ballard was distraught and frantically began rounding up all the help she could get to help find him.

A search and rescue operation began in nearby High Woods Country Park, with dog walkers, schoolchildren, friends and family all joining the hunt for the much-loved hound.

Michelle said: “My eyes were the size of golfballs when I realised and I burst out crying.

“There must have been between 30 and 40 people out looking. I put a post on Facebook and asked if anyone had seen him.

“My friend posted it in loads of groups and it was shared 680 times within an hour.

“Then somebody messaged my friend to say Frank was, well, on a bus!”

Gazette: Frank back at home on the sofaFrank back at home on the sofa

The inquisitive pooch is believed to have trotted off from his home and made his way to Turner Road.

Perhaps fancying a stroll down the pier, or a go on the 2p machines at the amusement arcade, he then hopped on a bus going towards Clacton - managing to dodge paying the fare.

Sadly for Frank he wasn’t able to remain completely inconspicuous and shocked passengers eventually spotted the missing pet.

Michelle said: “I thought a bus driver would have noticed and not let him on but maybe he boarded when someone was paying.

“Luckily, there was a kind gentleman called Michael who offered to take him back to his own home in Clacton.

“He took him in for the evening and was going to take him to the vet in the morning but his family spotted the post on Facebook. My partner Jonathan picked him up at about 7pm.”

Frank was taken home and reunited with Michelle as well as best friends Charlie, a two-year-old sausage dog, and Freddie, his two-year-old human brother.

Michelle added: “He is a valuable dog and you hear some horrible stories about situation like this. We were so lucky it was such a kind man who picked him up.

“It is completely out of character for Frank. It is the first time he has done anything like this in his life.”