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No parent wants to see their child upset – and some will go to extreme lengths to protect them from the world’s hard truths.

But one dad has been left feeling “sick to his stomach” after replacing his daughter’s dog after it ran away while she was staying at her mum’s house.

Questioning whether he did the right thing, the man explained how he spent 24 hours searching “high and low” for the six-month-old cockapoo before buying a new one in a state of panic.

Speaking to Reddit, he said: “I bought my 14-year-old daughter a cockapoo because she has been having a hard time after her mum and I broke up.

“But I told her it was because she has been doing well in school and is growing into a polite and caring young lady – both of which are also true.

“We went through the full deal – picking out the dog and visiting it before ultimately taking it home with us.

“She loves this dog, Lulu, more than anything in the world, possibly more than me if she ever finds out what happened.

“She spends every second she can with her. However she is unable to take her to her mum’s house because of her cats – so she leaves her with me when she visits her mum every other weekend.”

But it was when the man took Lulu out for her afternoon walk in the fields near his house that she slipped her collar and ran away.

“It happened within seconds. She got loose and darted off into the distance. I was running after her screaming her name but I lost track of her after she ran over the train line,” he added.

“I spent 24 hours searching for her – no sleep or anything. I contacted all the animal groups in my area and the police. I also put an alert out on my village’s Facebook group and a few others too – but nothing.”

In a panicked state, the man started contacting breeders from “all over the country” asking whether they had a brown cockapoo he could buy that day.

He added: “Although I was in two minds, I contacted a bunch of breeders and thankfully one got back to me saying they had one I could buy and pick up at any time.

“So, I set off on a 140 mile round trip to collect this dog.

“But one problem right off the bat – this dog is four-months-old whereas Lulu was six-months-old.”

However, as the dog was “female, brown and near enough the same size”, the man went ahead and bought her in hope his daughter wouldn’t notice she is a different dog.

He added: “I’ll be picking her up from school in a few hours and I’m going to take the new Lulu with me as this is what I’d usually do.

“I have never been so anxious in my entire life. I’m not sure what is worse – admitting her dog ran away or replacing it and pretending nothing happened.”

While most Reddit users begged the man to update them on his daughter’s reaction, others shared their amazement that he managed to find a replacement in such a short timeframe.

One user said: “I would not lie about this to your daughter. One way or another she is going to find out the truth.

“This dog is a different size and also might have a different temperament. You could frame it as you got a new friend while you keep looking for Lulu or something.

“But don’t lie to her, that is only going to end badly.

Another user added: “Well damn, at least you know you’re a great father because you care this much.”

A third user said: “Aww so sorry this happened. Her dog might still get found. Keep searching and put up fliers and ads.

“I think your daughter might be able to tell the difference and if she ever found out, she would be really upset.”