YOUNGSTER James Starkey has sat on his verandah after school for the past five afternoons in the hope his beloved puppy will return home.
He has even puts out dinner each night for the pup in the hope he returns from wherever he may have ventured to.
But the chances of "Desmond" returning are slim.
Two callous thieves walked into the front yard of the family's Raceview home last Friday afternoon and stole the four-month-old puppy from the verandah.
His mother, Trisha Smith, brought the rescue pup two weeks ago after being advised it could help her son's autism.
She said the pup, which slept beside her son's bed each night, had played a major role in allowing James to get a good night sleep - minus night terrors.
"I came home and had a shower and five minutes later Desmond was gone from our front verandah," she said.
"My neighbour said he saw two Sudanese men walking in my front yard but just thought they were going to knock on the door to sell something.
"It is all very distressing and heartbreaking . . . I was hysterical when it happened as the kids were about to come home from school and I had no idea what I was going to tell them.
"It has been devastating for us as a family - but especially for James.
"If you cannot even have your dog tied up on your verandah without someone taking it, then what hope is there?"
James, 10, said he missed his pup and hoped the people who took him would return him.
He said the pup was his best friend and he looked forward to seeing him each afternoon after school.
"I was so upset when mum told me someone had taken him," he said.
"He was so playful and liked playing with his toys . . . I even taught him how to sit.
"I really miss him a lot and I wish he would come back."
Anyone with any information is urged to contact Ipswich Police on 3437 2777.