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Dog Guards Burnt Calif. Home for Weeks

Paradise homeowner finds her dog guarding the ruins
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 9, 2018 12:40 PM CST

(Newser) – A survivor of the catastrophic Camp Fire in Northern California returned this week to find her dog there, guarding the ruins of her home. "Imagine the loyalty of hanging in in the worst of circumstances and being here waiting," homeowner Andrea Gaylord tells WKYC3. "It was so emotional." Seems her dog Madison stayed at the Paradise property for nearly a month after Gaylord fled the Nov. 8 blaze, NBC News reports. Gaylord asked an animal rescuer to check on the male Anatolian shepherd mix a few days later, and Shayla Sullivan found the outdoor guard dog keeping a safe distance on the property. So Sullivan regularly left water and food until Gaylord returned Wednesday.

"If [the homeowners] can't be there, I'm going to be and I'm not going to give up on their animal until they can get back in," says Sullivan. She also tracked down Miguel, Madison's brother, at a shelter about 85 miles away. Miguel was taken there amid the chaos of a wildfire that destroyed the town of 27,000. The canine brothers were together again Friday as Gaylord gave Madison his favorite snack—Wheat Thin crackers. The dogs will remain on the property while Gaylord and her family stay in a mobile home park for now, per the Huffington Post. "Imagine the loyalty of hanging in in the worst of circumstances and being here waiting," she says. "Their instinctual job is to watch the flocks and we're part of them. It's a comforting feeling." (See the top dog names of 2018 and where they originate.)
(Read more uplifting news stories.)

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