A grandfather-of-seven has been reunited with his long lost brother and sister that he had not seen for more than 20 years- thanks to his beloved famous litter-picking dog.
Alfie Kitson, 80, had drifted apart from his siblings after he moved to Coin in Málaga two decades ago.
After his five-year-old Spanish Podenco Millie hit the headlines for her party trick and Mr Kitson was spotted by his sister’s husband Ray, 73, in Hereford city centre with her on litter-picking duty, his siblings decided to track him down.
They found he was living in the village of Ulingswick with wife Judy, 75, and had been since he moved back from Spain 18 months ago.
Mr Kitson has now been reunited with his siblings Dave, 84, and Anne, 71, after more than 20 years, in Hereford, where they all grew up.
His siblings stayed in touch over the years but did not know if their brother was back from Spain as they had no address for him.
Alfie Kitson, 80, had drifted apart from his siblings after he moved to Coin in Malaga two decades ago. Pictured: Mr Kitson and his litter-picking Spanish Podenco, five-year-old Millie
Anne’s husband Ray said: ‘He moved over to Spain without leaving a forwarding address. We had no contact with him, his wife Judy or their eldest son Simon.
‘After I spotted him back in Hereford, we then saw the coverage on Millie and went to Ulingswick to see if we could find him.
‘After asking around the village we finally tracked him and his wife down.
‘After 20 years of not knowing where Alfie was, Anne finally got to meet him once again and there was plenty of hugs and tears.
‘Anne also let Dave know that Alfie was back in Herefordshire.
‘Dave and Alfie made arrangements to meet thereby completing a reunified family.’
Mr Kitson has now been reunited with his siblings Dave, 84, and Anne, 71, after more than 20 years, in Hereford, where they all grew up. Pictured: Millie puts litter in the bin
Retired plumber Mr Kitson said: ‘My brother moved to London years back and my sister went elsewhere too – we just drifted apart.
‘I was living in Spain and we were just living our own lives. We only returned 18 months ago to because my wife became ill.
‘We had family still over here, so we moved back. It had been 20 years since I heard from Anne and Dave – those two stayed in touch.
‘But I had a call recently from my granddaughter, to say my sister Anne was trying to find me, I was only eight miles away.
‘I came back home on day and low and behold there was my sister. She then got in touch with my brother Dave.
‘We all grew up in Hereford, and now we have all been reunited – it has been amazing.
The 80-year-old’s pooch became an overnight star with her ability to put rubbish into bins- a party trick learnt from her time in Spain
‘And to think it’s all down to teaching Millie how to put litter in the bin is just incredible really.
‘They might not have ever found me if it wasn’t for Millie and her little trick.
‘We are trying to make up for lost time, but because of Covid it is still a bit of distant arrangement at the moment.
‘We met for a walk with Millie last week and it has been emotional. We are planning to meet up again soon in the new year.’
Pictured: Millie prepares to put some rubbish in the bin in Hereford town centre. Mr Kitson previously described her as ‘intelligent’
Mr Kitson’s pooch became an overnight star with her ability to put rubbish into bins- a party trick learnt from her time in Spain.
Millie was just eight months old when she was found abandoned in a rubbish bag tied to a tree branch and was rescued by Mr Kitson and his wife.
Dad-of-three Mr Kitson said previously: ‘We rescued her because our house felt empty without an animal. Dogs and cats are a big part of anyone’s life that loves animals.
Millie’s owner is delighted that her party trick has led to him being reunited with his family
‘Millie is a very intelligent dog and seems to enjoy her little party trick.
‘A few people ask me why I do it but I enjoy it and so does Millie, plus it’s helping keeping the city clean and tidy which is our little good deed.
‘All I have to say is ‘put that litter in the bin’ and she will pick it up and do it. Passers-by seem to love it and she always gets a little round of applause.
‘Obviously environmental concerns are a hot topic at the moment so if we can help clear up rubbish and plastic off the street then we’re doing our bit to help.
‘She isn’t just part of the family, she is the family and we are glad we can show her off to others as she really is an amazing dog.’
Mr Kitson said their litter-picking rounds are their way of keeping the city clean and tidy as well as their good deed. Pictured: Millie