Dogs are regarded as “man’s best friend” for several reasons. Not only are they loyal to a ‘T’, but they are also willing to brave horrific ordeals in order to reunite with their human companion(s). This was recently made evident in California, where a courageous dog named Madison waited an entire month to reunite with his human, Andrea Gaylord.
On November 8th, residents in Paradise, California, were forced to evacuate their homes. Because of the short notice, many personal belongings and loved ones, including pets, were left behind. The town of 27,000 people was absolutely decimated by the wildfire. Fortunately, there were survivors, including Madison, a male Anatolian shepherd mix.
Several days after Gaylord fled, she asked an animal rescuer to check on her dog. The rescuer, Shayla Sullivan, said the outdoor guard dog was apprehensive and kept his distance. But, he was alive. So, she left food and water for him regularly until Gaylord returned on December 7th. Said Sullivan, “If [the evacuees] can’t be there, I’m going to be and I’m not going to give up on their animal until they can get back in.”
Sullivan also helped locate Madison’s brother, Miguel. The Anatolian shepherd mix was taken to a shelter 85 miles away in the aftermath of the fire. When the happy pet owner returned to her property, she reunited with both dogs. She also made sure to bring Madison’s favorite treat: Wheat Thin crackers.
Gaylord told news station ABC10 that she couldn’t ask for a better furry companion: “Imagine the loyalty of hanging in in the worst of circumstances and being here waiting.”
News of Madison’s survival is warming hearts because not everyone was so lucky last month. In just two weeks, the fire in Northern California destroyed more structures than the state’s other seven worst wildfires combined, reports USA Today. Furthermore, in the first 14 hours, the campfire destroyed 20,000 acres. Two days later, that number increased to 100,000 acres.
The ferocious pace of the fire is why nearly three times as many people died as the Griffith Park Fire, California’s previous worst wildfire on record. Right now, 870 residents of Paradise and the surrounding area are still missing. Unfortunately, that number is also expected to increase.
Though the past month has been filled with despair, it’s heartening to know that Madison, Miguel, and Andrea found their happy ending.