The fires that spread through California destroyed the homes of thousands of people. While losing your belongings is one thing, losing the members of your family is absolutely heartbreaking.
Getting your whole family out safely is a challenge, especially when some of the family members are animals who don't understand what's going on.
Our pets are part of the family, but they aren't capable of grasping that you're trying to help. It's even worse when a family is forced out before they can get their beloved pets.
Andrea Gaylord from Paradise, California, was heartbroken when she was forced to leave behind her dogs, including Anatolian shepherd mix Madison, because she wasn't allowed to go back to get them before being forced to evacuate.
Gaylord was terrified for her dogs, not knowing how they could survive the fires. It was November 8th when Madison and the others were left behind. For weeks rescue workers did everything they could to contain the fires, and finally, a month later, people are being allowed to return to where their homes used to be.
Obviously, most people are returning to a wreckage and burned out shells of where they used to live, but for Gaylord, she knew she had to try to find her beloved pets.
A rescue agency called K9 Paw Print Rescue had been putting out food and water in the areas where animals had been reported missing, including near Madison's home. There were even reports that people saw him, but they were unable to catch her.
They had managed to catch Madison's brother Miguel, but Madison had been more evasive.
What they did do was place an article of clothing that smelled like his family to give Madison a bit of hope that they would be back for him.
A month after his family was forced to escape, the evacuation order was lifted and immediately Gaylord rushed to her home to survey the destruction and look for her lost dog.
She expected to have to go looking for him, but the moment she drove up to the property she saw him, sitting by their home like a good guard dog.
K9 Paw Print Rescue reported the emotional story, and shared the photos of the moment they found their sweet boy.
Gaylord was beyond joyful to find her precious pup, and is grateful to her dog's loyalty. “Imagine the loyalty of hanging in through the worst of circumstances and being here waiting,” Gaylord said in an interview with ABC10 “You could never ask for better animals.”
“You are the best dog,” she said to her very good boy with tears in her eyes. “The best.”
I think we all can agree that Madison is a perfect pup who was brave and loyal the whole time. He spent a month alone, but he didn't give up hope that her family would be back for him.