Family Returns Home a Month After Fire and Finds Their Dog Waiting for Them

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A month after the Camp Fire, a homeowner who returned to see what’s left of her property was shocked and overjoyed to see her dog survived the wildfire. When Andrea Gaylord arrived back at her home in Paradise, California, she said her beloved dog, Madison, was waiting patiently for her to return home. “You could never ask for a better animal,” Gaylord said. “You really couldn’t.”

Gaylord had a feeling Madison survived the fire so she connected with Shayla Sullivan, an animal rescue volunteer, who checked on their property.

Sullivan originally was looking for and taking care of Gaylord’s other dog named Miguel. Madison and Miguel are brothers. Sullivan said she kept checking on Gaylord’s property and left food and water for Madison, an Anatolian shepherd mix.

When the evacuation orders were lifted, Gaylord went home to see the damage for herself. When she pulled up to the property, there was Madison.

“Imagine the loyalty of hanging in in the worst of circumstances and being here waiting,” Gaylord said. “It was so emotional.” The Camp Fire wildfire killed 84 people, destroying Paradise, a northern California town of 150,000 residents.

Video here:

Shayla Sullivan, who said she volunteered in the fire zone, explained how she orchestrated the reunion in the comments of the Facebook post.

Sullivan said she initially found the couple’s other dog, Miguel, and reunited them. But Madison remained behind, making him harder to catch. In the meantime, Sullivan left food and water out for Madison until she could lure him back home.

Sullivan said she met with Andrea Gaylord, one of Madison’s owners, and had the idea of placing an article of clothing that would smell like her to “keep Madison’s hope alive until his people could return.”

Sullivan happily posted that the plan worked out.

“Well, I’m so happy to report that Andrea was allowed to return to her property today and there Madison was,” Sullivan wrote. “He had stayed to protect what was left of his home, and never gave up on his people! I’m so happy I’m crying as I write this! He didn’t give up through the storms or the fire! A long month it must have been for him!”