WHEN Rob Bland returned home from a weekend trip to find his beloved dog missing, he didn't only lose a pet - he lost the companion that had helped him cope with cancer.
After breaking his back in an accident two years ago, surgeons discovered a tumour in Rob's spine and on his arrival back home from hospital he was welcomed with a cattle dog puppy he named Ozzie.
Rob was bed-bound for months, and his wife Misty said if it wasn't for Ozzie, Rob would not have coped as well as he did.
"Wherever Rob was, Ozzie was - even while he was going through his cancer treatment she would be in the car to Townsville," Misty said.
"Rob would take her for walks on the beach to help him get over the treatment, she even sleeps in the bed with us.
"She is such an important part of his life."
Misty and Rob were attending a meeting in New South Wales and drove 13 hours straight when they received the news from a friend that she had gone missing from their Gray St home.
"We drove all the way up when we heard and since we got back I have driven around town for hours trying to find her," she said.
"It is just so sad, dogs truly are a man's best friend and if it wasn't for Oz our life would be so boring.
"She has definitely in a lot of ways helped heal Rob.
"Ozzie was the runt of the litter and they didn't think she was going to make it, but she did with the TLC Rob gave her."
Yesterday, Misty and her two children dropped more than 200 fliers in mailboxes around Emerald in the hope somebody would have some information about the missing blue cattle dog.
"We can't see how she got out of the yard - we barricaded the gate with wheelie bins because she is clever at opening doors," Misty said.
"She is such a timid and nervous dog, she wouldn't just go with anybody.
"I really just hope we can find her."
If anybody has seen Ozzie around the Central Highlands, please contact Misty on 0451 272 057.
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