Whakatane couple Cliff and Lorna Walker have been left absolutely gutted after their Bichon/Shih Tzu was taken from inside their truck.
Walker had parked in the Kakaharoa carpark in central Whakatane and gone to get lunch yesterday when 10-year-old Chewii was taken.
"Cliff had taken Chewii and our other dog Little for a run and come into town to surprise me with some lunch at work," Walker said.
"He parked in the car park outside the sushi shop and left all of the windows down a bit for the dogs."
Gone for only minutes, Walker was not initially aware Chewii had been taken when he returned to his vehicle.
"He dropped me lunch and then went home and it wasn't until he got home that he realised he only had one dog on board."
She said both dogs often curled up on the back seat or in the foot wells of the truck so would be easy to miss.
Once he realised what had happened, Walker went back to the Kakaharoa car park and searched for Chewii. He also asked The Warehouse if they had CCTV covering the area.
After having no luck, Walker then went to the Whakatane Police station, Whakatane District Council, the local pound and the SPCA.
"He was worried someone may have taken exception to the dogs being left in the truck and taken them to the pound but that doesn't appear to be the case," Walker said.
The white Bichon/Shih Tzu is microchipped.
She believes if someone had taken Chewii, the dog would run at the first opportunity she had.
"Although Chewii is our daughter's dog, she adores Cliff. She is always at his side except when he is at work and even then she lies on the driveway waiting for him to come home."
Little, who is older than Chewii, has been inseparable from his canine companion for years.
"We got Little a few years after Chewii and they two of them are great mates."
She said all they now want for Christmas is to get their dog back.