A loyal dog died of a broken heart after his Alzheimer’s suffering owner died on the side of a Dublin road, miles from her home.

A post mortem has concluded that 65-year-old Peggy Mangan died of natural causes on the day she went missing from her southside home.

Her body was found in a field in Ballymun, on the other side of the city, on Saturday, four days after she vanished after going to walk the family dog.

Her disappearance sparked a huge search operation across the city as family members handed out leaflets and 150 volunteers joined police and search and rescue teams to search fields and marshes.

The Irish Sun reports that her loyal King Charles spaniel Casper stood guard over his owner’s body until it was found in undergrowth close to an IKEA store.

A heartbroken Casper himself died shortly after he was taken to a vet for treatment.

The mum of three had left her home in Terenure at 11am on Tuesday morning and was caught on CCTV footage that night, taken in the Finglas area.

Police began a search within a two mile radius of the area, including all waste ground around it and her body was found under a tree in grassy wasteland on Saturday.

Her son Jon has thanked those who helped the family in their hour of need.

He said: “I know my mother would appreciate it and my family absolutely appreciates it.

“The community support out here has been nothing short of spectacular.

“Peggy adored Casper. He was her best friend.”