Lydia Nimmo's golden retriever Max was yesterday enjoying the sunshine after being trapped down a hole on the West Coast for five days.
The 10-month-old dog was discovered on Saturday after disappearing from Miss Nimmo's North Beach home last Tuesday morning.
"Usually he just goes and plays with the neighbour's dog and he disappears for a few hours ... but even if he is out playing he always comes back for dinner," she said.
Searchers scoured the North Beach bush and even used the neighbour's dog in the hope it would lead them to Max, but to no avail.
"I knew he must have been stuck," she said.
On Saturday, in the pouring rain, about 12 people and four dogs went out again, searching the beach, bush and as far north as Rapahoe.
Eventually, Troy Neilson found Max, stuck down a three metre-deep hole about 1km from their house.
"He nearly fell back in because he was so excited to be out," Miss Nimmo said.
Despite the ordeal, the dog was in good spirits, though a little skinny. "He got back and he was really happy to see everyone, but he was so exhausted."
Miss Nimmo said she could not thank the searchers enough.
"It was amazing the number of people who came and helped. It was quite overwhelming."
She would be keeping a closer eye on Max now: "Hopefully, he has learned his lesson."
- Greymouth Star