THEY say a dog is a man’s best friend, so it’s understandable just how distraught Bill Alexander was when his best mate Oska went missing three weeks ago.
The pair had been inseparable ever since Bill locked eyes with Oska at the RSPCA shelter in Malaga on June 7.
“He came over to me and just sat his head on me and I thought to myself ‘This is my dog, this is going to be my baby’.”, he said.
“He was a rescue dog, his previous owner had died so understandably he’s very shy and a little nervous but he accepted me immediately.”
Disaster struck when on June 28, Bill drove down to Swan View IGA with Oska, tying him to a post outside the shop with his brand new red coat.
Bill said Oska, a three-year-old kelpie and staffy cross, was fine until, while at the checkout, he saw some school children chasing Oska down the road.
“I don’t think they let him off, he might have been scared and slipped his collar, but I’d say he ran because he was afraid.”
Bill spent the next couple of days searching for Oska for up to 16 hours a day, despite issues with his leg and back.
It wasn’t until Facebook came into play that he started having success.
“People were seeing him here and there, and there was a lot of people out looking for him and I’m so grateful for that.
“It was really incredible, to see the community trying to help me like that.”
Still it was three weeks before he received a call from a local lady who had spotted Oska.
“I went down to where he was and I could see him but he wouldn’t come to me, he was still scared.
“I called animal rescue and asked them what I should do and they said Bill, sit down and turn your back to him and pretend you’re eating his snacks.
“I did that and sure enough I hear the noise of footsteps through the bush coming up behind me.
“I’m just so happy to have him back, I can’t thank everyone enough.”
Oska is now the proud owner of a new harness, and Bill has vowed not to let him best mate out of his sight.
“I’m training him to stay by my side, that’s going to be his new trick,” he said.
By Liam Ducey