A MAN has been “living in a nightmare” ever since the dog which helped him overcome a drug addiction went missing.

James Firsht, of Bounds Green, Enfield, is offering a £1,000 reward to anyone who can bring Cody home safely.

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier Cross disappeared during a walk with the dog walker in Hadley Woods last Thursday (August 2).

Since then, James and his girlfriend, Lorna Roach, have been camping out in the woods and spending 24 hours a day, seven days a week looking for him.

The pair now fear he may have been stolen and James has taken leave from his job as a gas engineer to fin

James said: “I’ve got blisters on my feet and I’ve barely slept but I won’t stop until I find him. I know he’s out there somewhere.

“A week into the nightmare and I think he has to be with someone. I need to make this dog well-known so they can’t keep it. He can’t be bred so keeping him is pointless.

“It’s heartbreaking. At points I feel emotional and I’m devastated. I don’t know whether I’m running around like a headless chicken following all the leads, but I have to try.”

Cody is microchipped and was wearing a chain collar when he ran off.

He has since been spotted in East Barnet, Victoria Park, Cockfosters and Oakwood in the last week but none of the sightings have been confirmed.

James was given Cody four years ago by a friend while he was battling drug addiction and depression.

He says he had “nothing to live for” and used to go out to parties, staying at friends houses with no reason to come home.

But Cody gave him a reason to get clean and almost 18 months later, his life was back on track and he has now been clean for three years.

“I didn’t care about myself,” he said. “I used to try and stop taking drugs for a couple of days but I could never do it.

“But when I got the dog that changed – I cared about him so much so he gave me the responsibility I needed to look after him.

“Now four years on I’m doing a lot better and it’s all thanks to the dog. He saved my life. My family say he’s a lot like a carer to me, too.”

If you know where Cody is, e-mail aslater@london.newsquest.co.uk or the call the number on the poster below.