Good Sorts: Stranger goes above and beyond in 17-day search for much-loved Bubbles the chihuahua - 'Priceless'

This week's Good Sorts goes to a complete stranger who went above and beyond to help search for a much-loved pet after a car crash left her owner recovering in hospital.

Faye Emery and her beloved chihuahua Bubbles were travelling in her car near Taupō last month when they were involved in a head-on collision with a group of tourists.

"Unfortunately, Bubbles was thrown from the vehicle," her grandson, Aaron Price, said.

Aaron and his young family were desperate to find the small white dog before his grandmother woke up, having been rendered comatose in the crash.

"Yeah, first night, we slept in the car," he said.

That's when plasterer Ken Moody took them in, providing them with food, a bed – and even one of his own t-shirts for Aaron.

"And drinking his beers, yeah," Aaron said with a grin.

Ken also joined the search for Bubbles – and never stopped.

For two-and-a-half weeks, he'd go out at night with thermal imaging cameras. During the day, he coordinated a Facebook page. Soon, up to 100 total strangers joined in.

"People coming from as far as Turangi and Rotorua [were] coming just to search. It's just been - wow," Aaron said.

"We sat there and just watched for hours, especially the night we bought the car wreck back."

Bringing back Faye's wrecked car didn't bring Bubbles back, either.

She didn't come out for two-and-a-half weeks until a woman saw a white chihuahua race under a blackberry bush – and remembered the poster.

"She said, 'We've found your dog Bubbles,'" Aaron recalled. "I couldn't quite believe it at first."

Ken came straight down and, after much coaxing, Bubbles came out, knowing she was in safe hands.

Now, after a stay at the vets, dog lovers who were once strangers have gathered to see Bubbles return to her nana.

Ken drove Bubbles two hours to Waikato Hospital where Faye is still recovering.

"My little girl, my pride and joy. She's my only companion I have got," Faye said as she cuddled Bubbles from her hospital bed.

"Priceless, yeah," Ken responded.

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    After Faye Emery’s chihuahua Bubbles disappeared following a car crash near Taupō, Ken Moody, a complete stranger, launched a community search operation. Source: 1 NEWS