A victim of the devastating California wildfires experienced a bittersweet homecoming when returning to her decimated home a month after the inferno ripped through the town of Paradise. Despite Andrea Gaylord’s house being reduced to ashes, she was shocked to see her dog lying on the scorched ground, waiting patiently for her return.
Gaylord feared that Madison, an Anatolian shepherd mix, had perished in the flames after she was prevented from returning to her home after the brutal “Camp Fire” broke out. Strict evacuation orders were put in place for the safety of Paradise residents, and Andrea was left fretting at the thought of her precious pets languishing in the blaze. Stunningly, however, Madison remained unscathed and looked nonchalant as she laid down where the front porch used to stand.
This story just warms my heart!
Madison survived the #CampFire and never left his home off Merrill Road in #Paradise. When his owners got access to come back to see what's left they found him waiting patiently for them! We do not deserve dogs. Good boy Madison! pic.twitter.com/NThe8bEIWQ
— Madison Meyer (@madisonmeyer) December 7, 2018
Once the fire began to recede, Andrea took it upon herself to search for her beloved pup. She sought help from animal rescue volunteer, Shayla Sullivan, and began appealing for information. She managed to locate her other dog, Miguel, but there was no sign of Madison, apart from a few brief sightings.
“[I] knew [Madison] took his job seriously and wasn’t going to be an easy catch,” Sullivan explained to KXTV-TV, noting that she would leave fresh food and water on Gaylord’s property in the far-fetched hope that the canine would one day return.
Then, an entire month after the town had been evacuated, Gaylord headed home and immediately spotted her loyal companion.
“Imagine the loyalty of hanging in in the worst of circumstances and being here waiting,” Gaylord explained. “It was so emotional.”
“You could never ask for a better animal,” she added. “You really couldn’t.”
Leahna Copsey is another Paradise resident who returned home to her dog Ella, keeping guard on the family’s land.
“She was protecting it,” Copsey told Visalia Times-Delta. “She was protecting the only house left on the block.”