Few pet owners can say they are as dedicated to their favorite animal as Russell Waters of Canterbury, New Zealand.
When his Chocolate Labrador, Roger, went missing last week, Waters pulled out all the stops. He spoke to neighbors, spent countless hours driving around, passed out hundreds of flyers, and even chartered a helicopter to help him locate Roger.
Every moment of free time he had, Waters spent searching for Roger. Despite the great lengths Waters went to, especially using a helicopter, Roger was eventually discovered just a few hundred yards from home.
Wednesday night, Waters was finally reunited with the dog he calls his best friend. Roger was found in an irrigation ditch, suffering from a knee injury and dislocated leg. But he was safe and sound.
Waters believes Roger had been in the ditch since at least Tuesday night when he heard a faint bark coming from that direction.
“I waited for a while but never heard another,” says Waters. “I’d say he had heard me talking, I was only 300-400m away and he was trying to get my attention.”
On Wednesday, two people spotted Roger. As soon as Waters was told Roger had been found, he raced to be reunited with him, relieved that the long and extensive search was over.
“It’s a happy end to the last seven days. I still can’t believe it really,” says Waters. “I think I’m exhausted too, worn out.”
Waters admits that he feels guilty for letting Roger get out of the house, especially since it’ll be a while until he’s back to full health, he’s excited to have his best friend back.
“He’s my best friend, he’s my best mate, he’s my life,” Waters said of Roger. “I’ve got a child and partner and all that, but I can’t even mow the lawns without him being there – he follows me everywhere. I can rely on him; I come home and he’s usually going to be there.”