A local animal rescuer hasn't lost hope of finding her missing dog Zeus, even hiring a private detective, while Zeus' four-legged companion Puppet is being treated for depression.
It's been one year since Diana White's beloved dog Zeus went missing.
He still hasn't been found but the animal welfare devotee is not giving up the search, determined to get her pup back to help reignite the spark of her second dog Puppet, who was diagnosed with depression after her best friend went missing.
Diana said Zeus was her adored protector – a lazy, loveable 42 kilogram Bull Mastiff cross Sharpai.
March 20 marked one year since Zeus went missing from Diana’s 96 acre property located on the northern part of Lake Monduran, just past Gin Gin.
She still maintains a strong hope that Zeus will either be returned or somehow find his way home.
Diana is the driving force behind Lakeside Animal Sanctuary Incorporated (LASI), a tranquil, undulating slice of country on Lake Monduran and a home to unwanted or surrendered racehorses.
“Zeus was central to my working day. A constant companion, Zeus and I had developed a strong connection after he was surrendered to me a couple of years ago,” Diana said.
“Zeus is not a wanderer, he always stuck by my side, but is so placid he is likely to jump into a vehicle if someone opened a door.”
“Zeus, and my other dog Puppet were inseparable although Puppet was not as bold as Zeus”.
Diana said when Zeus didn't come home for his dinner, she noticed Puppet started to change.
“Her behaviour became extremely sulky, followed by catatonically not wanting to participate in our daily routine,” Diana said.
“She would lay in the driveway just staring down towards the front gate then collapse with her head between her two front paws still just anticipating his return.”
Diana said Sugarland Animal Hospital diagnosed Puppet with chronic depression, dispensed antidepressants and gave a suggestion that before giving her medication, she could try to get Puppet a much larger new friend.
“Within a couple of weeks we got Puppet a new friend Hunter, the Greatdane cross,” she said.
“As absolutely beautiful as Hunter is, Puppet just hasn't taken to him and he is much more interested in the other animals as well unfortunately.”
Investigators helping to locate Zeus
Diana recently found some online information suggesting Zeus may have been spotted in the McCoy’s Creek area near Branyan.
A prominent missing animal investigation company has waived its fees and is assisting Diana in the search for Zeus. The dog is desexed and microchipped.
“I believe pet lovers would understand the feelings of stress, anxiety and loss relating to an animal that is part of your family and daily life,” she said.
“He is a big dog but terrified and extremely afraid of rain and storms. I can’t emphasise just how his loss has affected me and certainly has caused separation issues for his best friend Puppet”.
While the search for Zeus continues, Diana continues to care for 17 horses currently homed at Lakeside Sanctuary.
Bundaberg Now promoted the efforts of LASI in July last year but little has changed for Diana and the work she undertakes up to 20 hours a day, seven days a week.
With minimal funding and limited avenues for assistance Diana has welcomed the involvement of a small group of volunteers who provide whatever help they can.
“Some of these horses require around-the-clock supervision and care. Some have been mistreated and have limited trust of humans,” she said.
“I have the help from a vet who makes fairly regular visits to ensure all animals are tracking okay regarding their overall health.”
Sanctuary mourns passing of top racehorse
Recently the sanctuary farewelled one of several star “residents” with the passing of Regal Chamber, a racehorse boasting several wins from nine starts including a third placing in the 1997 Golden Slipper at Rosehill Racecourse behind Guineas.
Regal Chamber was retired to stud and, as a broodmare, produced foals for 20 straight seasons. The mare was surrendered to Lakeside Animal Sanctuary and to the care of Diana.
“She was an affectionate and loving horse. So very special.” Regal Chamber was at the sanctuary for 18 months prior to her passing in January this year.”
In seeking to achieve her ultimate development of the sanctuary, Diana has a task ahead of her but she is progressing at the rate of one fencepost at a time.
“I really would welcome more volunteers to help out with what LASI is endeavouring to achieve,” she said.
“Volunteers, donations, feed, anything to improve the outcome for the horses would be extremely welcome, especially if someone had a registered Ute to assist us to pick up our supplies,” she said.
“We are also on the lookout for a new volunteer treasurer, someone with some bookkeeping skills, and someone with secretarial abilities would also be a wonderful addition to the organisation.”
More information on LASI is available on Facebook.
Diana can also be contacted by email [email protected] or phone 0455 457 454.