Monday, February 29, 2016

Loyal dog keeps running away from home and waiting where she last saw her missing owner

Every day, Kerry Morgan, 53, would walk his dog Ataahua, "beautiful in Maori", along the banks of the Waikato River in Hamilton, New Zealand. But on Friday they had their last walk together at around 2pm. Later that night Ataahua was found sitting on the banks of the river near Morgan's shoes and hat - but he was nowhere to be seen. Police launched a search, which included the dive squad, but he has not yet been found.

On Sunday Morgan's daughter, Lorraine Cook, gathered with other family members at the Hamilton East house her father shared with her mother. Cook said four-year-old Ataahua, who Morgan got as a puppy, kept escaping the house to go and sit at the river. "When we were told my dad had gone missing my brother and sister were here at the house, waiting for news from police, before we all turned up. They let Ataahua out of the house to go toilet. At about 11pm that night they had to go looking for her. One of the cops and my brother found her down by the river again in the same place, just sitting there.

"It was like she was waiting for him to come back. She keeps running there - It's sad to watch her. She looks sad." She said her father wasn't sick or taking medication and his disappearance was out of character. "It's out of character for him to hop into the water because he couldn't swim," she said. "The longest he can stay away from the house and the dog is about an hour and that's it. Ataahua and dad are tight, they were always together. It's been three days since he went missing. It's hard, you know. It's hard because you can't do anything but wait. That's the hardest part."

A police search of the river over the weekend failed to locate Morgan, Waikato District Command Centre Senior Sergeant Robbie Hermann said. "Morgan takes his dog for a walk along the river path most days, and he often stops at an area about 100 metres north of the Wellington St beach and sometimes sits in the shallows of the river while his dog has a swim in the river. A hat and pair of shoes belonging to Mr Morgan, along with his dog, were found next to the river [on Friday evening] which would indicate he's potentially gone into the river."

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