Woman returns home one month after Camp Fire to find pet dog patiently waiting for her and guarding her property
Andrea Gaylord had to leave behind her dogs when she evacuated her home for Camp Fire, but was greeted with the sight of one of them waiting calmly for her when she got back.
The Camp Fire in California claimed the lives of 86 civilians and destroyed close to 19,000 structures resulting in damage estimated to be $10 billion, which is what makes the heartwarming story told by Andrea Gaylord all the more special. When she came back to her home one month after the fire claimed the town, she found one of her dogs waiting patiently for her, guarding her property.
According to ABC10, Gaylord was one of the thousands of homeowners who had to evacuate Paradise when Camp Fire threatened to raze the town. However, she was unable to rescue her two dogs, Madison, an Anatolian shepherd, and his brother Miguel. Strict evacuation orders meant she was not allowed to go back to her residence to search for the dogs, but despite weeks passing by, she never gave up the hope that they would be alive and well.
Gaylord enlisted the help of Shayla Sullivan, a local animal rescue volunteer, to track down the two dogs. People reports that Sulivan found Miguel in Citrus Heights, a city 86 miles south of Paradise. And while she said she saw Madison "a few times deep in the Canyon," the dog evaded her grasp.
Sullivan said she kept checking Gaylord's property for signs of Madison, leaving food and water in the hope the dog would return. She said she even had the idea of placing a piece of clothing that smelled of Gaylord in and around the residence so the dog might come back. "I knew he took his job seriously and wasn't going to be an easy catch," she wrote on Facebook.
Then, one month after she had to painfully leave behind both dogs, she has reunited with them once again. Gaylord returned to her home to see Madison calmly waiting for her. "You could never ask for a better animal," she told ABC10. "You really couldn't."
K9 Paw Print Rescue posted the happy news on their page, writing, "Madison’s parents were unable to get home to him when the Camp Fire spread. They hoped and prayed he would be OK. When they finally got clearance to go back to the lot where their house once stood... Madison was waiting there for them as if he were protecting his former home. Never give up!!"
"Imagine the loyalty of hanging in in the worst of circumstances and being here waiting," she added. "It was so emotional." While she lost almost everything in the fire, she now has her family back together and she's thankful. "They went up in smoke but I still have a memory and that will never leave," she said.