Blind Labrador Spent 8 Days Lost And Alone In The Mountains

13/3/2017

Dan Estrada, a paramedic and EMT for the Fire Department, made a surprising discovery whilst hiking in the woods with his friend and their two dogs, Barnabas and Köelsch.They noticed something out of the ordinary in the foliage, and upon closer inspection realized that it was Sage, a blind 12-year-old dog that had been missing for 8 days.

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Source: Dan Estrada

The labrador went missing when her owner, Beth Cole, thought that her pet had followed her into the house. Instead, she was accidentally left outside overnight. Sage was blind as a result of glaucoma, and so became lost and was not there in the morning when the family came to find her.They quickly organized search parties and put flyers up around their town, Boulder Creek, California. The distraught owners persevered in looking for their dog over the next few days, but with no luck. Cole described toThe Santa Cruz Sentinel:

Our neighbors and other members of the community helped us search day and night for a week. We looked everywhere.
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Source: Beth Cole

Their search became more frantic and they started to fear the worst when there were reports of mountain lions in the area. They even hired a professional dog tracker, but in the end it was Estrada who found Sage by chance.When he found the labrador, she was lying in a shallow stream, and he initially thought that poor dog hadn't made it. It was only when the man got closer and Sage lifted her head that he knew that she was alive. He toldKTVUof his relief:

I started hugging her, it was overwhelming - so moving [...] I put my arms around her and kissed her and started to pet her. And she was able to hold her head up and wag her tail.
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Source: Dan Estreda

However, Sage was weak, malnourished and was unable to make her own way up the canyon, so the brave man had to carry her some 100 yards to safety and to her family. He described toThe Dodohow “ They were crying, they were happy.”

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Source: Dan Estrada

The labrador was extremely lucky to have been found when she was, as the stream that she took refuge in looked set to flood in the following days. The whole Santa Cruz community has since come together to celebrate Sage's safe return and Cole revealed toThe Santa Cruz Sentinel:

It’s been amazing. Since she’s returned home people have been bring by snacks for her; one neighbor cooked her a steak.
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Source: Dan Estrada

Sage's family were offering a$1000 reward to anybody that could bring their beloved pet home. However, Estrada, who already has a rescue rednose pitbull, refused this money and instead asked the family to donate the sum to an animal recue organisation.There will also be a fundraising event in Boulder Creek to celebrate Sage's return and to raise money for the Santa Cruz Animal Shelter.You can support the Santa Cruz Animal Shelterand the incredible work they do by clicking here, making a donation and helping them to continue saving animals.

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