87-year-old’s ‘incredible’ reunion with stolen dog
IF this dog could talk, he would have some stories to tell.
Romi the one-eyed shih tzu, 14, has been reunited with his overjoyed owner four days after he was stolen from a Gold Coast beachfront.
The plucky pooch was discovered sitting by the side of a road, a staggering 40 kilometres from home, in Murwillumbah, south of Tweed Heads.
The Gold Coast Bulletin earlier reported the dog was snatched by a man on Burleigh esplanade near Fifth Ave during an early morning walk on Thursday morning, leaving owner Eileen Graves, 87, devastated.
She issued a desperate plea for the thief to return her furry companion, who needs daily medication for a heart and kidney condition.
The incident sparked a citywide manhunt for the beloved pet with Bulletin readers taking up the call in droves.
Many labelled the theft "disgusting", calling on the man to return Romi to his rightful owners.
The Graves family said it appeared the distinctive dog had been let go in the Tweed, before being picked up by the pound.
"We received a message from the Tweed Pound on Sunday afternoon with an image of him, asking if it was Romi," son Richard Graves told the Bulletin today.
"We recognised him straight away.
"It was an incredible relief to get him back … it was emotional at home."
Queensland Police, who had been investigating the theft, stepped in to drive the family to Tweed for the tearful reunion.
Mr Graves said it was heartwarming to see the outpouring of support.
He said Romi had since been given the tick of approval by the vet, and while he was a bit smelly, he seemed unscathed from his wild adventure.
"He bounded up the stairs and then jumped into bed, you could tell he knew he was home," he said.
"He's been to the dog parlour and had a haircut and he looks like a new dog."
Mr Graves said his mother was "over the moon" to have him back.
"I've told her no more early morning walks though!"