The power of social media and good old-fashioned human contact helped reunite a boy and his pet lamb last weekend after fears she was gone forever.
Milkshake, the one-month-old pet lamb of Connor Sullivan, escaped from the family's section in Poihipi Rd last Friday morning after she followed Connor's mum, Kim Sullivan, down the drive and got out onto the road unseen.
Kim was unaware that Milkshake had escaped but Paul and Danielle Nicholls, who came along shortly afterwards, narrowly avoided hitting the lamb wandering on the road and caught her. Milkshake found herself with an unscheduled outing to Taupo, where her saviours went into RD1 to buy milk powder and a bottle and teat to feed their new charge and left their contact details with RD1 worker Amanda Hyde.
Meanwhile, Kim's husband, Daniel, had noticed Milkshake was gone and set out looking for her, without success. Although Connor was away in Noumea on a school trip, he was due home the next day and his parents knew he would be devastated to find his beloved pet missing.
Through friends and contacts Kim put the word out on social media and rang the SPCA and local veterinary clinics, to no avail.
But there was a stroke of luck when a woman messaged Kim's friend on Facebook to say RD1 had the contact details of Milkshake's carers.
Although it was after hours and the store had closed, Amanda from RD1 went in on her own time to find the Nicholls' contact details so Kim could get in touch and arrange to collect Milkshake.
And so it turned out that when Connor arrived home from his school trip on Saturday evening, Milkshake was waiting to see him, and even though he had been away for two weeks, she recognised him straight away.
"He got home and Milkshake was there and heard him calling her, and even though he hadn't been there for two weeks she knew exactly who it was and she careered across the deck and the section to greet him. It was so cool."
Kim says she's grateful to the people who took good care of Milkshake during her escape, and visited both them and Amanda last Tuesday with gifts to say thank you.