Fearing that Morgan may have drowned, authorities conducted a search of the river, but they failed to find any sign of him. Meanwhile, Morgan's daughter, Lorraine Cook, took Ataahua for safekeeping.
But the loyal pup isn't ready to give up her vigil. At the first opportunity, Ataahua escaped and returned to the spot where she'd last seen the man who'd raised her from a puppy.
"When we were told my dad had gone missing, my brother and sister were here at the house, waiting for news from police, before we all turned up," Cook told the New Zealand Herald. "They let Ataahua out of the house to go toilet. About 11 p.m. that night, they had to go looking for her. One of the cops and my brother found her down by the river again in the same place, just sitting there."