Our pets are our family, even if they are a completely different species from us, so it's important that we protect them the same way we would our human brethren. In the case of a fire, us humans know what to do once we smell smoke, but for our four legged friends, they may end up confused.
When a blaze takes down a home, a family may not have time to rescue their pets, or the blaze might be too fierce for them to go back inside and risk their own lives. It's a major tragedy, and it can often end in a less-than-happy story. If your house burned down and your dog was nowhere to be found, what would you think?
Most people would have to come to terms with the fact that they have lost their family pet, as heartbreaking as that can be. Fortunately, our furry friends don't always give up so easily. In this story, a woman returned to her burnt down home to find her dog there waiting for her.
Last month the raging fires in Paradise, California and surrounding areas were absolutely devastating. Taking homes, wildlife, and land in a seemingly endless swirl of flames that took the lives of 85 people. One of the many victims of the fires in Paradise was Andrea Gaylord, who lost her house in the blaze. That's not all she lost though. She feared she lost something much more important: her dogs.
Andrea Gaylord's two dogs, a pair of brothers named Madison and Miguel, could not be found following the fire. She assumed the worst, knowing how deadly the fires had been. She explained her feelings to TODAY: "It was the worst feeling in the world. It's like you have to choose. The whole time I thought, 'What was going to happen to those dogs?' It was horrible."
Andrea Gaylor had no choice but to leave the dogs behind, unable to search for them. The entire area was under a complete shut down for the evacuees, so even those who wanted to check on their homes or their lost loved ones could not return to try and look for them. A month had passed and still no sign of the dogs, so Andrea could only assume the worst. Luckily there was some good news early on. Rescuers from K9 Paw Print Rescue found Miguel in Citrus Heights, a nearby town.
That made one dog accounted for, but the fact that Madison wasn't with Miguel was alarming. It was possible that Madison didn't make it. On December 6th, Gaylord was finally able to return back to her property, which is when this story has another fortunate turn.
Upon returning to her property, Gaylord found none other than Madison sitting on the burned rubble of the property waiting for his family. Gaylord was immediately stricken with relief. As she told TODAY, "It was like there is a higher power. It was like a sigh of relief. It was affirmation that these dogs are survivors." It turns out that the same rescuer who found Miguel had seen Madison and left food and water out for him, in lieu of being able to capture him.
Why would Madison stay waiting in the rubble? Sylvia Sullivan, the rescuer from K9 Paw Print Rescue who found Miguel explained to TODAY, "They don't see it as ashes. They see this as their home and those dogs protect their flock. And these people are their flock. They love those people."