Dog That Survived Camp Fire Guarded Paradise Home for Weeks
'He had stayed to protect what was left of his home, and NEVER gave up on his people!' an animal rescuer wrote
A dog that survived the catastrophic Camp Fire in Northern California apparently protected the ruins of his home for almost a month until his owner returned.
Madison was there waiting when Andrea Gaylord was allowed back to check on her burned property in Paradise this week.
"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," K9 Paw Print Rescue wrote on Facebook.
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Gaylord fled when the Nov. 8 fire broke out and eventually decimated the town of 27,000. As the flames spread, Gaylord couldn't get home in time to scoop up her pup, according to the animal rescue group.
An animal rescuer who responded to Gaylord's request to check on Madison first spotted the male Anatolian shepherd days after the fire broke out.
Shayla Sullivan said the outdoor guard dog — driven by instinct to protect his land, his people and his home — was apprehensive and kept his distance. Sullivan left food and water for him regularly until Gaylord got back on Wednesday.
Gaylord told news station ABC10 she couldn't ask for a better animal. She added: "Imagine the loyalty of hanging in in the worst of circumstances and being here waiting."
Sullivan said on Facebook that before the reunion she came up with the idea to place a piece of clothing with Gaylord's scent on it at the property in the hopes of keeping Madison's hopes up.
"He had stayed to protect what was left of his home, and NEVER gave up on his people!" Sullivan wrote on Facebook.
Sullivan also helped locate Madison's brother Miguel, another Anatolian shepherd that was taken to a shelter 85 miles away in the confusing aftermath of the wildfire.
"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 said.