AS HE set eyes on his beloved dog Gypsy again, a relieved Bill Simeon, 74, realised his week from hell had come to an end.
At 9pm on Friday, he discovered Gypsy tied to a tree outside his Sunshine Acres home - shaved to her skin where previously she'd worn a thick coat.
Gypsy, a black and white border collie - as loyal as a dog comes - had been missing since Monday when, Mr Simeon believes, she was taken.
"I'm absolutely certain she was stolen because I was working in the shed and she always waits and watches me," Mr Simeon told the Chronicle.
"I was working away and when I turned around she was gone."
After realising she was missing, Mr Simeon's frantic searching led him to his shut side gate where he found a large box on the ground. It wasn't his.
He believed a dog thief planned on putting Gypsy in it or had something inside it they used to trap her.
A worried Mr Simeon said he then went to the police, vets and the Fraser Coast Regional Council, and launched a Facebook campaign to find his dog.
He persisted with his efforts until Gypsy was returned on Friday.
Mr Simeon said despite the happy ending, he wanted to speak out and warn others he believed dog thieves were roaming the Fraser Coast.