Jack Weaver and brother-in-law Patrick Widen skirted police barricades, and traversed a creek and hilly roads to save Weaver's mother the grim task of recovering the family's beloved dog Izzy. Katherine Weaver was convinced Izzy died in a ferocious wildfire that sent them fleeing, Katherine still in her nightgown. When the men reached the end of the narrow road on Tuesday, Jack Weaver swore as the house was completely gone. But then Izzy came bounding out for a joyous reunion, reports the AP. Jack Weaver, who was filming the scene for his parents, captured the moment on his phone in a video that's gone viral, providing a rare bit of good news amid endless destruction. "She was very happy to see us," Weaver said of Izzy, a 9-year-old Bernese Mountain Dog. "She's such a brave dog. She was panting a lot and clearly stressed. But she was not frantic or anything."
In the frantic race to escape in the middle of the night, the Weavers and others were forced to leave behind pets because they couldn't be found or there was simply no time to get them. Cellphone service was sketchy, but Weaver was able to reach his mother. "She just lost it," Weaver said. "She went from being devastated about losing her home to the being the happiest person I've ever seen. I couldn't get home fast enough. She was really, really happy." A vet said Izzy was fine, likely insulated from the fire's intense heat by her thick fur coat. At Sonoma County Animal Services, veterinarians and assistants are caring for 64 cats and 44 dogs, nearly all brought in from fire zones. "The severity is often terrible," said Dr. Katie McKenzie, the lead veterinarian. "Their paw pads are burned off. Or if they aren't, they come off in the days following." Twenty five animals have been reunited with their owners.