The Dailly’s and the Treloar Syndicate have moved on from last weeks car accident that claimed the life of Big Black Mac, to take out the $75,000 to the winner, Group 1 Adelaide Cup last night with his litter brother Spud Regis.
But one week on, owner and breeder Phil Lenehan still doesn’t have his fawn greyhound home safe and doesn’t have the consolation of a feature race win to cushion the blow.
Lektra Ottens has officially been missing since 3:45am last Friday morning, and despite early reports that he had been visiting an elderly gentleman for food in the few short days since the accident, he has so far eluded searchers and hasn’t been back to that farm since Sunday night.
Phil Lenehan has made public appeals through Australian Racing Greyhound, industry forums, and has twice been on ABC local radio to spread the word about “Ottens” but to no avail.
This morning Phil announced a $500 reward to anyone who is able to locate and catch his talented 34kg greyhound.
“I announced this morning on ABC Radio that we’d give anyone who can find him $500, so hopefully that helps spread awareness through the local community in the Wimmera area.”
“The worst thing that could happen would be if a farmer was unaware of the situation and mistook him for a wild dog killing their stock, and shot him accidentally.”
“Hopefully getting the message out there, and the reward, go some way to helping get him back soon” said Lenehan.
But realistically Lenehan added, “….the longer it goes the less chance we have of seeing him alive again”.
Greyhounds have been known to survive long periods in the wild; but the added dangers of farmers, and crossing roads; coupled with the greyhound’s naturally fast but often fragile stature; make a safe return home after an extended period “missing” only a remote possibility.
This morning though there was an unconfirmed report of a fawn greyhound seen crossing a road in the Dimboola area, some 25kms from the Kiata accident site.
“Tom Dailly rang me to say he’d been contacted to say someone saw a fawn greyhound near Dimboola today………but whether or not that’s him or not I can’t say” said Lenehan.
If “Ottens” is heading in a south-easterly direction, basically following the highway, he will eventually close in on the Horsham area. The distance from Dimboola to Horsham is approximately the same as “Ottens” has already covered.
But Lenehan is remaining optimistically cautious, “We don’t really know if it was him or not in Dimboola, so we’re still hoping locals in the Nhill and Kiata areas can keep a vigilant eye out for him”.
It’s hard not to draw comparisons between some of the stories of urban legend of dogs miraculously finding their way back to owners and loved ones, months and even years on from going missing.
If that is to be the case, “Ottens” has more than 300kms to cover to return his birthplace on the Lenehan dairy farm in Toolong, near Warrnambool.
But Lenehan has a more practical approach, “Lets just hope it doesn’t come to that, and with the $500 reward we find him quickly”.