A Hastings family's therapeutic dog, which they adopted after a family tragedy beside the Hawke's Bay coast, has gone missing on a similar stretch of coastline.
The tragedy left the family bereft and they still have difficulty talking about it.
Melua Watson says her collie Lucy, who is golden tan with white markings on her face and paws, vanished from Ocean Beach on July 13, 15 minutes into a walk up the beach, around 11.30am.
For Watson the incident feels like deja vu.
"The family has already suffered a great loss in recent years ... we are hoping for a different result this time."
Lucy plays a therapeutic role for the family, and Watson says that makes her irreplaceable.
"Lucy has brought so much joy in our lives. We adopted her when she was an older puppy.
"As well as being a lovely-natured dog, Lucy is extra special for the therapeutic role she plays in our lives, especially after the loss of a family member five years ago.
"Lucy is such a positive influence on our lives and we can't wait to have her home."
The family has been searching the Ocean Beach and Waimarama township areas every day, talking to people, putting up posters and delivering fliers to farm letterboxes around Ocean Beach.
She said they'd been overwhelmed by the beach communities' response.
They have also spread the word on social media.
"We have contacted farmers around the area and people have even taken their own dogs down to look for her."
On the day of Lucy's disappearance the Ocean Beach car park was full, when Lucy and the rest of the family set off for a wander.
Shortly after heading off she was seen "booting it" back along the beach towards the car park and hasn't been seen since.
"There could easily have been 60 cars in the car park. I am amazed no one had seen her.
"How she could just disappear so fast is a mystery – there were so many people on the beach.
"We searched the Ocean Beach area until sundown on Saturday and were back the next morning. We had a tip-off about a possible sighting in Waimarama on Sunday night and were out with the torches but no luck.
"She's not one to just take off and usually circles back to the pack. Something must have spooked her on the beach as she is quite timid.
"Our thoughts are that she could be hiding in the Ocean Beach or Waimarama areas, has got onto farmland, or someone could have taken her from the car park at Ocean Beach around midday on Saturday, in which case she could be anywhere in Hawke's Bay by now."
Lucy was quite small for a collie and was a fit and healthy young dog, microchipped and registered, she said.
She was wearing a dark purple collar with a green Hastings District Council registration tag.
If you see Lucy call 027 276 5494 with any information or call Animal Control.