Last updated : 17 May 2007 By Editor

The Guardian:

In a season which has seen Jose Mourinho lock horns with his reclusive Russian boss, fall out with his £30m striker and make increasingly outlandish criticism of his opponents, it seemed the only thing the Chelsea manager's year was missing was a shaggy dog farce.

Yesterday, however, that was put right by Gullit, his beloved Yorkshire terrier. Within the space of 24 hours a dispute over the dog's quarantine status led to Mourinho's arrest, a Westminster-wide search, and briefings and counter briefings from Chelsea, council officials and the Met over the dog's exact whereabouts.

The affair started on Monday night as Mourinho attended Chelsea's Player of the Year awards where he got a call from his wife saying Gullit was being taken away.

On returning to his Belgravia home Mourinho allegedly became embroiled in an argument with police and animal welfare officers who wanted to put the dog in quarantine, fearing it had been taken abroad, then brought back to Britain, without jabs. Mourinho refused and in the melee Gullit was believed to have made a dash for freedom.

Having let the dog slip through their fingers officers decided to arrest Mourinho, who was then cautioned for obstructing the police. Scotland Yard said the dog was to be seized for alleged offences under the Animal Health Act of 1981 and the Rabies Order of 1974.

Mourinho, 44, insisted it had all been a "misunderstanding". His spokesman said: "Mr Mourinho would like to make it clear that his pet dog was bought in England from a reputable breeder and has had all its necessary inoculations."