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."
"It was like she was waiting for him to come back," she added.
As the days have passed since Morgan was last seen, Cook says their hopes of finding hime alive have sadly dwindled. Ataahua's, it seems, have not:
"She keeps trying to run down there. It's sad to watch her. She looks sad."
Police are still seeking clues as to Morgan's whereabouts. But amid the mystery of his disappearance, another fact has been proven beyond all doubt: A dog's love and loyalty know no measure.