Lost: A best mate and constant companion

HEARTBREAK: Bob Hayden wants help to find his best mate Rio. Photo: ZENIO LAPKA 072414zbobJUST over two weeks ago, Bob Hayden lost his best friend Rio.
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While his hopes of good news have faded, Mr Hayden has contacted Fairfax Media in the belief the community may be able to help.

Mr Hayden, a resident of Kirkconnell, let Rio outside for a final bathroom break before bed at around 10.30pm on Wednesday, July 9 – and that was the last time he saw his beloved “best mate”.

“After I let him out to go to the toilet I usually see him waiting by the door to come back in,” he said.

“For some unknown reason he didn’t come back.”

Rio, a Hungarian Vizsla, is 15 years and five months old, and Mr Hayden has had him since he was born.

Mr Hayden, 72, who has had dogs his entire life, said Rio has been his constant companion.

“He slept on the bed, and if he wasn’t on the bed he was on the lounge … he was family to me,” he said.

In the days after Rio went missing, Mr Hayden’s daughter Helen South posted an alert to Facebook which has since been shared dozens of times across Bathurst and Lithgow.

“People who don’t even know me have come and helped [look] because they’re dog lovers,” Mr Hayden said.

“People say this can happen with old dogs; they justwander off.”

Mr Hayden said “it’s been grim, very grim” since Rio went missing, and he is now “expecting bad news”.

He is pleading with the community to keep an eye out for his best mate.

He described Rio as a“russet red” colour, although his face has greyed with age.

Rio is around the same height as a Labrador, but not as solidly built.

“If he was dead and someone saw him on the side of the road I’d like to take him back home and bury him,” Mr Hayden said. “It’s like losing a family member. You just need closure.”

Rio is on regular epilepsy medication and has been microchipped.

Mr Hayden is urging anyone with information to contact him on 0402 867 120.

“I’d gladly offer $100 if it led to his return alive or dead,” he said.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.