Blind Dog Missing for a Week in the Woods Is Saved by Firefighter

PetMD Editorial
Published: March 09, 2017
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In this current climate, it often feels like good news is getting harder to come by. That's why the incredible rescue story of a blind senior dog, who was found safely after going missing for a week in the Santa Cruz Mountains, has captured the heart of the nation. 

On March 7, San Francisco affiliate ABC7 reported that a family was separated from their 12-year-old yellow lab named Sage for over seven days. The dog, who lost her vision due to health problems, accidentally wandered away from her Boulder Creek, California home, and was soon lost in the cold, wet terrain of the nearby woods.

"It was horrible. We were so heartbroken and just feeling so bad that she was out there," Sage's owner Beth Cole told the news outlet. Despite the family's attempts to find the dog, as well as help from the community, it seemed hope was all but lost when the senior canine could not be found. 

Then, as fate would have it, local firefighter Dan Estrada, who had been helping search for Sage throughout the week, spotted her while hiking through the woods with a friend. Eight days after Sage disappeared from home, Estrada found her lying near a stream, alive and well. 

Estrada told the news station, "I jumped in the stream, I was super happy. I put my arms around her and hugged her and threw her over my shoulders and carried her up the mountain." He continued, "It's been harsh conditions and that dog had such a strong will to live. And I think everybody has a lesson to be learned from that: Don't give up." 

Sage and her family were reunited soon after Estrada's amazing discovery and rescue. The Coles reportedly tried to give Estrada the $1,000 reward they were offering, but he refused. The joyous clan will give the money to charity. 

For pet parents, the story serves as a reminder to keep their animals on close watch during the winter months. But, truly, Sage's tale of hope and survival, which reached far beyond the San Francisco area—making headlines across the country, and even around the world—proves that there are still good news stories, good people, and, of course, good dogs out there. 

Image via ABC7 San Francisco