Beloved pet found after 'amazing' community effort
WHEN the Withyman family pulled up for a rest at Ballina two days ago, they peered into the back of their ute to check on their dog, Bula.
But the 18-month-old kelpie wasn't there.
Panicked, the family backtracked to Maclean, where they last stopped, and started a frantic search for their beloved pet.
The Sunshine Coast family had just had a "magical" family holiday at Wooli and were roadtripping back home.
The disappearance of Bula was heartbreaking news for Rod and Cathie and their two boys, Rio, 11, and Bon, 8.
"We went back to Maclean and just scoured the streets looking for her. We put up posters everywhere," Mrs Withyman said.
"The boys were just beside themselves, it was heartbreaking.
"We started driving slowly back to Ballina to see if she was somewhere along the way.
"The Ballina Vet helped us out by sharing our story everywhere on social media ... I think the post was shared 1500 times, it was just amazing."
Thankfully, this story has a happy ending for the family.
Bula turned up this morning at a farmhouse at Harwood, happy, healthy and ready to go home.
"She's totally fine," Mrs Withyman said.
"We have no idea where she spent the past two nights or what she's been up to, it's a mystery, but at least we have her back.
"Luckily Bula had a collar on with a tag that had my name and phone number.
"The support from this community has been amazing.
"I think everyone between Maclean and Ballina has been looking for Bula - I don't think we could have gotten through the stress of it all without the support.
"I had people I didn't know messaging me asking what they could do to help ... others were driving up and down the highway looking for her.
"Everybody just rallied for us and we're so grateful."