The mysterious story of missing dog Bodhi has had a happy ending thanks to the local newspaper.
The 5-year-old short-haired German pointer-heading dog cross was spooked by thunder, broke his collar and escaped in the riverside settlement of Waikino at the base of the Coromandel Peninsula on June 30, leaving his family distraught.
What followed was a social media search of Sherlock Holmes proportions, followed by a Hauraki-Coromandel Post story published on the NZ Herald website and then on page one of the print version of the Post last Thursday.
And it was the printed word that finally sniffed out the missing dog.
Bodhi’s owner Sheree Dunlop said the people who had rescued him off the road three weeks earlier got the Hauraki-Coromandel Post in their rural mailbox and then made contact with the council.
“Literally, almost three weeks to the minute [since he went missing], I got a phone call at four o’clock on Friday.
“They don’t use Facebook apparently, and had no idea of all the posts and all the sharing and all the commentary that has been around him until they saw the newspaper. Oh man, I can’t tell you how grateful we are for that,” Dunlop said.
She said the people who retrieved the dog had picked him up off the main road by the Waikino Station, and had taken him home to their rural property about 10 kilometres out of Waihī.
“He was there all along, pretty much, but that one piece of the puzzle was missing and that [was that] they hadn’t got the message.”
As soon as they got the phone call, Dunlop, her husband and their 14-year-old daughter went straight out to pick him up.
“I got my honey Steve to come home from work early. It was like, ‘We have got this phone call, we have got to go and get this dog’. He pretty much dropped his tools and left work.”
“He is such a good dog, I think they fell in love with him a little bit. They probably would have just given him a life if they hadn’t seen that newspaper article, I think. We were ecstatic to have him back.”
She said Bodhi was just as happy to be reunited with his family.
“As soon as he saw our car, he came bounding for it and [we were] all grinning through the windows. It was lovely.”
She said they had now “upgraded” his collar so he can’t get out again.
“He goes walking once or twice a week with a dog walker. That is part of his popularity. He is quite well-known by a lot of people because he has got a good social life, and I think that really helped to keep the story moving. So we are really lucky, really, because not everyone gets the mileage or the sharing that we got.
“We are very, very lucky and very pleased and very grateful.”