The 95-year-old Kaikohe man whose pet had to be put down after an attack by a pack of dogs says he doesn't know what to do with himself now his best mate has gone.
Jim Morgan and his fox terrier cross, Sandy, were attacked by six large dogs while out for a Sunday morning walk on Harold Ave. The dogs may have been accompanied by a man on a quad bike.
Morgan suffered only bruising but Sandy had to be put down after suffering a badly fractured leg. The ex-serviceman said Sandy was one to two years old when he got him from the Okaihau pound in 2009.
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''I'm lost without him. Sandy has been my cobber since my wife died in 2011. He was very intelligent — he knew what I was going to do before I did it,'' Morgan said.
As well as missing his mate, Morgan was now struggling to fill his days. Poor eyesight meant he couldn't read or watch TV and a heart complaint meant he couldn't do tasks like chop wood or work in the garden.
''The only thing I was able to do was walk the dog three times a day. Now I'm stuck in the house all day, it's quite miserable.''
He was considering getting another dog but wasn't sure if he could handle a new pet at his age — he turns 96 in March.
''Besides I'd be scared to take him out for a walk. That was the fourth time Sandy and I had been attacked.''
Meanwhile, gifts and messages continue to pour in from wellwishers around the country. While the Advocate was visiting yesterday a Kaikohe business was dropping off Christmas goodies bought after a staff whip-round.
Morgan said he was grateful for the kindness he had been shown but what he really wanted was for the owner of the dogs to be caught and prosecuted.
''One dog running around is bad enough, but six? They had no leads, no collars, nothing.''
He urged anyone who knew who the owner was to call the Far North District Council on 0800 920 029.
''There couldn't be many people around town with six dogs.''
Morgan said the dogs, which were accompanied by a man on a quad bike, ''took a beeline'' for Sandy.
The man shooed the dogs off then took off on his bike. That got rid of the dogs, which followed the bike, but the rider didn't check to see if he and Sandy were okay, Morgan said.
The council says it is continuing to investigate the attack. With no CCTV in Harold Ave it is checking whether any home security cameras in the area captured the dogs.