Heroic Dog Stands Guard For Weeks After California Fires

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Dog Guarding Home After California Fires
Muhammad Lila/Twitter

The devastating reports following the massive California fires last month produced many heartbreaking stories. However, one incredible, beautiful story went viral because of the fires. A loyal dog waited by his owner’s home until she could return. Meanwhile, an animal rescue worker made sure the fluffy guardian was alright the entire time. Here’s the inspiring story of Andrea, Madison, and Shayla.

California Fires 2018: Deadliest In History

California Fires
NASA Goddard Photo and Video/Flickr

The California fires that spread from November until December this year were the deadliest, ever, in the state’s history. Over 1.8 million acres burned because of the numerous fires, resulting in thousands of evacuations. While they are still calculating, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection estimates that the fires caused more than $3.5 million in damages. During the chaos, many were injured and there were over 100 fatalities.

However, among these tragic events, stories of hope emerged. During the California fires, 75-year-old Andrea Gaylord needed to evacuate her property in Paradise. The Camp Fire spread quickly, destroying Gaylord’s workplace as well as her home and belongings. She lost everything. Worse still, Gaylord could not return home first, meaning she did not know what happened to her dog, Madison. She waited eagerly for the day she could return home, not sure what she would find.

“Not Giving Up”

Dog Guarding Home After California Fires
Muhammad Lila/Twitter

While away, Gaylord called and asked animal rescuers to look for Madison and make sure she’s all right. An organization called K9 Paw Print Rescue searched for and took care of misplaced dogs who ran away or got lost during the fires and the evacuations. Thankfully, K9 Paw Print Rescue quickly located Madison. Shayla Sullivan, a member of K9, took care of Madison during those awful weeks after the fire. Over the weeks before Gaylord could return, Sullivan gave her daily updates on Madison’s well being.

Here’s the best part: Madison, the Anatolian shepherd, never left Gaylord’s home. This beautiful, fluffy angel guarded the remains of the house, the entire time. Sullivan posted to Facebook, stating she provided Madison with food and water every day, always making sure he was okay. However, the dog kept his distance from her. She said of Madison, “He had stayed to protect what was left of his home, and never gave up on his people. He didn’t give up through the storms or the fire.”

The brave rescuer also summed up her own work: “If [the evacuees] can’t be there, I’m going to be, and I’m not going to give up on their animal until they can get back in.”

“You Could Never Ask For A Better Animal”

Dog Guarding Home After California Fires
K9 Paw Print Rescue

Once Gaylord returned home, she was reunited with her K9 friend, as well as the dog’s younger brother. She said in an interview to ABC 10, “Imagine the loyalty of hanging in in the worst of circumstances and being here waiting. You could never ask for a better animal.”

Besides risking her life, and taking care of dogs during the wildfires, Sullivan created a GoFundMe page for Gaylord and Madison, to help the family rehabilitate and get them back on their feet. There’s a $10,000 goal, and you can help by donating here.

People like Sullivan and loyal creatures like Madison are rays of sunshine in darker times. They give hope and bring joy to the hearts not only to those close to them, but to all who hear this wonderful story.