Heartbreaking story of the dog who waited for his family

Must See 10/12/2018

A California woman lost her home and all her possessions in November's devastating wildfire - but she didn't lose her two beloved dogs.

Andrea Gaylord, a resident of Paradise, was evacuated along with the other 26,000 inhabitants when flames began approaching the town on November 8.

The entire town was destroyed in the Camp Fire, which was the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in Californian history. At least 85 people were killed and thousands were made homeless in the disaster.

Mrs Gaylord, 75, wasn't home when the fast-moving blaze broke out, and she and her husband had to evacuate without their beloved dogs Madison and Miguel.

A rescue worker found Miguel relatively quickly, and he was reunited with his owners. But Madison proved very difficult to track down, although volunteer Shayla Sullivan thought she'd caught a glimpse of the Anatolian shepherd dog in the area around the Gaylords' property.

To encourage him to stay put until his owners returned, Ms Sullivan placed an article of Mrs Gaylord's clothing near the remains of the home so he could smell her scent. She also put out water and food for the animal.

A month after the fire, the evacuation order was lifted and the Gaylords were finally allowed to return to Paradise. Their home was burned to the ground and they'd lost everything - but there was a surprise waiting for them among the rubble.

Minutes after they arrived, Madison came trotting out to greet the couple. He'd endured a month of fire, smoke and storms to stay and guard his home and the Gaylords' livestock, which tragically were all killed in the blaze.

Video of his heartwarming reunion with his owners has gone viral online, showing Madison following the Gaylords as they drove their utility vehicle through the ruins of their property. 

"Imagine the loyalty of hanging in through the worst of circumstances and being here waiting," an emotional Mrs Gaylord told ABC10.


"You could never ask for better animals."

Madison was also reunited with his brother Miguel, which was another tearjerking moment.

The Gaylords are now homeless, but are thankful that they still have their furry family members as they make a new life together.