When a dog runs away, there is always a worried family at home waiting. Sometimes the dog comes home by itself and sometimes you might have to go out and look for your four-legged friend.
When 12-year-old Labrador Sage escaped from her home, her family was distraught. Not only was Sage old, she was also blind. With a forest nearby they wondered how she would survive alone.
The family began searching around their home in Boulder Creek, California, but there was no sign of her.
“Ten of our neighbors joined our family in the search that lasted until late that night,” Beth Cole, Sage’s mother, told The Dodo. “Then they came back to help for several days after that.”
After five days, the family began to lose hope.
Despite the family feeling hopeless, they continued to search for their dog. Five days turned into six, then seven, then eight.
They were afraid that Sage had been injured or killed by a predator.
But then, by chance, a man happened to see something in the forest. The family’s neighbor and firefighter Dan Estrada was out walking his dogs with a friend when they saw something next to the creek at the bottom of a steep slope.
“At first I thought it was a trash bag, so I was actually frustrated,” Dan told The Dodo. “Nobody wants people dumping trash in the forest. Then I looked closer, and I saw that it was Sage.”
Sage wasn’t moving and Dan suspected the worse. As they got closer she lifted her head and Dan’s friend noticed and called back “Dude, she’s alive.”
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As soon as Dan heard this, he ran down to the creek to rescue her.
“I climbed a lot quicker, jumped into the stream and hustled over to her,” Dan said. “I put my arms around her and kissed her and started to pet her. And she was able to hold her head up and wag her tail.”
Sage also noticed Dan’s two dogs Barnabas and Köelsch that she knew well and it helped to lift her spirits.
“I think she was more happy to see Barnabas and Köelsch then she was to see me,” Dan said.
She tried to stand up and walk, but after eight days without food, there was not much energy left in her so Dan carried her home.
On the way back, they also contacted Sage’s family who were, of course, thrilled to hear the news.
There were many tears of joy at the reunion.
The family had promised a $1,000 reward to anyone who found their precious hound but Dan refused to take it. Instead, he asked for the money to be donated to an animal rescue organization.
Find out more about this happy reunion and the amazing Sage who never gave up in the clip below.
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Animals can teach us so much and in this case Sage taught everyone that despite the odds she was determined to survive.
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