Last week, the four-year-old German Shepherd went missing while on a planned Search and Rescue training exercise on the tops of the Tararua Ranges, igniting a six-person search team.
This past Saturday, the team -- including Thames' handler Constable Mike Wakefield of the Masterton Police -- was delighted to find a clue: "A big fresh paw print in the mud," according to a statement from New Zealand Police.
And on Sunday, a full week after Thames went missing, the team found what it was hoping for: Wakefield and another searcher came across Thames in a bush, "safe and well," a police statement said.
In this adorable video from the New Zealand police, Thames' love for his handler is abundantly clear:
"He wolfed down half of my salami which is a treat for him, I gave him a cuddle and we had a big play," Wakefield said, according to the police statement. "I was just lost for words."
Thames was "hungry, and a bit skinnier in the haunches after a week of foraging," but "fit enough" to walk out to the road, the statement added.
"We are absolutely delighted at the news and Mike is ecstatic," Senior Sergeant Mark Davidson of the Wellington Police Dog Section said.
Thames is now resting at home as he and Wakefield take a few weeks of annual leave.
"It's great to have Thames come home," Wakefield said. "I can't thank people enough."