Dog Guards Family’s Burnt Down Home and Patiently Waits One Month for His Owners to Return

Andrea Gaylord reunited with her dog who awaited her arrival at home after the wildfires blazed through the area

A Northern California woman had the reunion of a lifetime when she returned to the ruins of her home, one month after Camp Fire blazed through the community, and found her dog awaiting her arrival.

Andrea Gaylord told ABC10 that when she finally made it back to see what was left of her Paradise home, she found Madison, an Anatolian shepherd mix, patiently sitting on the barren property.

“You could never ask for a better animal,” Gaylord told the news outlet. “You really couldn’t.”

Last month, when the fires began to pick up speed and strength, Gaylord was unable to get home to rescue Madison and his doggy brother Miguel, according to K9 Paw Print Rescue. With strict evacuation orders in place for weeks, Gaylord was not permitted to return to her community or go searching for her pets.

Despite the odds being stacked against them — the deadly wildfires destroyed 13,972 residences and killed 85 people, according to Cal Fire — Gaylord believed that her dogs had survived and enlisted the help of local animal rescue volunteer, Shayla Sullivan, ABC10 reported.

Sullivan eventually found Miguel in Citrus Heights, a city 86 miles south of Paradise, but continued to search for his brother, who Sullivan said on Facebook she spotted “a few times deep in the Canyon.”

“[I] knew [Madison] took his job seriously and wasn’t going to be an easy catch,” Sullivan added, noting that she would leave fresh food and water on Gaylord’s property in hopes that Madison would eventually return.

She even had the idea of placing a piece of clothing that smelled of Gaylord on the property as a way to attract Madison.

One month after evacuating, Gaylord finally returned to her home to find Madison patiently waiting for her and protecting what was left of their property.

“Imagine the loyalty of hanging in in the worst of circumstances and being here waiting,” Gaylord told ABC10. “It was so emotional.”

Madison and Gaylord are not the only hopeful pet reunion story to come out of the devastation from Camp Fire.

Leahna Copsey’s house in Paradise, California, was also destroyed in the devastating wildfire. When authorities arrived to survey the damage, they found the family’s dog, Ella, standing watch over the surviving residence.

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