A CHAMPION greyhound that went missing from a Gladstone backyard on Monday led its panicked owners on a 38-hour chase around Gladstone, but has been found safe only blocks from home.

The retired champion, which won eight races in the Brisbane area before retiring a year ago with a leg injury, was discovered missing at 6.30am on Monday.

The news devastated her 10-year-old owner Heather Yowyeh-D'Arcy.

The greyhound is thought to have escaped on Sunday during young Heather's birthday celebration.

"It's been a great chase alright," said father Rick D'Arcy, who searched Sun Valley until the sun went down on Monday, and was at his wits end when he came to The Observer for help on Tuesday morning.

"We drove round from the moment Heather woke me, in tears, until it was too dark to look anymore," he said.

Her owners feared the worst because the dog had poor road sense and was such a speedy creature.

Also, there was the possibility someone had stolen the family pet.

"There are unscrupulous people who make pig dogs from greyhounds," an emotional Mr D'Arcy said.

"We couldn't be that unlucky, could we?"

The red brindle greyhound, which answers to Rachel but raced as Naomi Kay, was discovered safe and well by Sun Valley resident Nicky Conza.

"I live on a busy road and I didn't want to let the dog go, so we thought we would keep her safe," she said.

The Observer readers would know Ms Conza is no stranger to danger herself, having overcome breast cancer as well as having a piece of wire brush stuck in her throat after ingesting chicken in January.

The dog's young owner, Heather Yowyeh-D'Arcy, would also be known to The Observer readers as the child who beat the odds after being born at just 20 weeks gestation.

The family is delighted to see the greyhound returned, and will be making sure visitors close the gate.

FOUND: Nicky Conza with grandson Kayden Lawrence handing lost greyhound Rachel back to owner Rick D'Arcy. Photo Contributed
FOUND: Nicky Conza with grandson Kayden Lawrence handing lost greyhound Rachel back to owner Rick D'Arcy. Photo Contributed Contributed


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