Happy end to dog-napping drama
TEDDY Newberry is relieved to have his canine companion back home after he was brazenly dog-napped from the streets of Grafton.
Early last week, the 93-year-old was walking his dog Robbie down Queen St when a woman in a van pulled up beside them and made gestures towards the dog.
Mr Newberry, who is deaf, assumed she was bending down to pat him, but to his surprise she unleashed the terrier cross, bundled him into the car and drove away.
Another person in the street saw the events unfold and quickly came to the aid of the distressed Clarence Village resident, who gave her the car's registration details.
The theft was reported to police and an investigation started.
The next day Mr Newberry had to travel to the Gold Coast for a minor operation, and with no sign of Robbie, Clarence Village managers Lee and Cindy Thomas were determined to have the dog returned to his owner.
"The last thing he said when he left was 'Please get my Robbie back'," Mrs Thomas said.
"We lost sleep over it, we're all family here and we just thought we had to get him back before Teddy came home."
From there, it was a race against time.
Senior Constable Shaun Bird, who was investigating the incident, said he was advised on Tuesday night that Robbie had been handed in to the Grafton Pound.
On Wednesday, Constable Bird's day off, he went to the pound to collect Robbie only to find Mr and Mrs Thomas were also there to pick up the pooch.
"I wanted to make sure the dog got returned and he was happy," Const Bird said.
"I'm a dog lover and if that happened to me I'd be devastated as well."
Mrs Thomas thanked the police officer for his help, and said it was great that they got him back just in time.
"We had Robbie out the front waiting for him when he returned from hospital and it was a really good reunion," she said.
"Robbie is his best friend, a companion and his family."
Curled up on his favourite armchair this week, Robbie looked none the worse after his two-day ordeal.
"It just goes to show, there might be bad people, but there's good people as well," Mrs Thomas said.