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A Dog Survived The California Wildfires For Weeks And Was Waiting For His Owners When They Were Allowed To Return Home

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WaPo- As the Camp Fire raged, killing at least 85 people and displacing thousands more in Northern California, Madison waited patiently. The Anatolian shepherd mix’s owner, Andrea Gaylord, was not able to get to her home in Paradise, Calif., when the fire began to spread Nov. 8, meaning Madison was left behind. For weeks, all Gaylord could do was pray for Madison’s safety, according to California-based animal rescue organization K9 Paw Print Rescue. Shayla Sullivan, a volunteer with the rescue organization, had already helped locate Madison’s brother Miguel in a different city. But Madison was even more difficult to find. Sullivan spotted Madison a few times in a canyon, apparently guarding territory, and put out fresh food and water regularly in hopes that the dog would turn up, according to a Facebook post by Sullivan. She even placed an article of clothing that smelled like Gaylord near the home “to keep Madison’s hope alive until his people could return,” Sullivan wrote.

“WELL, I’m so HAPPY to report that Andrea was allowed to return to her property today and THERE MADISON WAS!!!! He had stayed to protect what was left of his home, and NEVER gave up on his people!” Sullivan wrote in the comment on her Facebook post, which was shared 12,000 times as of Saturday evening. “I’m so happy I’m crying as I write this! He didn’t give up through the storms or the fire! A LOOOOONG month it must have been for him!” she added.

Oh hell yeah. Everybody remembers the wildfires from a few weeks ago that burned down half of California, right? Well now you need to go back and include this detail in your memories of the fires. During all of that chaos and all of those thousands of acres of land being burned up, Madison the dog was inside the chaos and apparently thriving. Madison the dog was in there dodging, ducking dipping, diving and dodging the worst flames in the history of California. He dodged them for weeks and then was casually waiting for his owners when they rolled up a month later. Incredible.

I never totally understand the part of the story where the owners of pets explain why they left Madison behind in the first place. It’s always like, “They were unable to get Madison because the fires had started to spread and were unable to get back to the house.” Hmmmmmm. The wildfires were obviously super dangerous but I think you gotta risk it all to save your dog. Maybe that’s just me.

I needed Madison’s owners to nut up, hop in their car and head back to the house like this

They didn’t but Madison survived anyway and all’s well that ends well.

By the way, and not to rain on everybody’s parade, but part of me thinks Madison the dog was like, “This is where I get my food. I’m here for the food. The food is why I stick around. So I’m gonna wait here until the things that give me food come back.” There’s like an 88% chance that’s why Madison stuck it out through hellacious wildfires but dogs can’t talk so we’ll never know the true reason why Madison stuck around. So we are free to attach our own emotional narratives to it.