When the Camp Fire approached Bill and Andrea Gaylord’s
80-acre ranch they had only minutes to evacuate. They attempted to
bring their two Anatolian Shepherd dogs, Miguel and Madison, to
safety but both dogs ran off to protect the property, and they were
forced to leave without them.
The Camp Fire burned over 153,000 acres, destroying buildings
and tearing apart families. Many people, like the Gaylords, were
forced to leave their pets and were uncertain about their fate.
However, organizations in the area had volunteers who were willing
to check on pets. Bill and Andrea, extremely worried about her
dogs, had called K9 Paw Print Rescue and requested that someone
check to see if Miguel and Madison were okay. The task fell to
Shayla Sullivan, who drove out to the neighborhood to see if the
dogs could be found.
Finding the address was difficult. The fire had destroyed the
area, which Shalya describes as “pitch black and desolate.”
Workers in the area had spotted the two dogs, so she was certain
they had survived the fire, but she hoped to bring them back to the
rescue and reunite them with Bill and Andrea.
Facebook post, Shayla describes the first few days of her
“Poor babies I was sure were close, still guarding the ashes
of their home.
“We didn’t have any luck so we left some food by the gate.
Later I called the owner to let her know we had been there. She
explained a little more what her place was like. The way she was
seeing it was much different than my view. I tried to concentrate
on details that were still there such as asphalt and a black iron
gate. I knew immediately that we hadn’t gone far enough in, so I
made the notes to return to the correct place the next day.
“This became my ticket and each day I talked to Ann (Andrea.)
I kept the “difficult “ tickets as my own because I wanted to
make sure someone got there each day. Ann always was so happy to
hear my voice…. needing an ear and hoping for good news. Each day
it was the same… I didn’t see them BUT I left them food and
Shayla visited the property daily to leave food and water for
the dogs. She began to leave boiled chicken, hoping that the dogs
would stick around to meet her for food one day.
Eventually, Shayla was asked to give up her task and had no
choice but to comply. She assured Andrea that others would take up
the search for her dogs, but she was asked to move on to other
business. She and Andrea kept in touch, and one day, Andrea let
Shayla know that someone on Facebook had seen a picture posted of
Miguel, but she wasn’t sure where he was or how to get in contact
with the people who had found him.
Shayla took up the search on Facebook, and this time, she found
Miguel – about 90 miles away in Sacramento! Andrea and her
husband were eager to be reunited with Miguel, but the two are
older, and Andrea has a disability, so driving would not be easy.
So Shayla volunteered to make the drive and handle the long
verification process to claim Miguel for them.
“Arian [Kaloke] assured me she would stay open and she was
true to her word. She had groomed and loved on Miguel the whole
time he was there. Her happy tears showed me that her heart is just
like mine. They brought Miquel out and he was sad and timid. Of
course he showed little emotion, after all I was NOT his people. We
took our verifying pictures so that I could claim him. I led him
out to the truck and for once he wagged his tail.”
In late November, the Gaylord family was reunited with Miguel.
However, they were still missing Madison. During this time, Shayla
continued to check on the property and local Facebook lost and
found pages, hoping Madison’s photo would turn up like Miguel’s
On December 5th, the evacuation order for the area was lifted,
and Andrea and her husband could finally return to check on their
home. When they arrived, they saw their missing dog waiting
patiently for them!
“I had sighted Madison a few times deep in the Canyon BUT knew
he took his job seriously and wasn’t going to be an easy catch.
After meeting Andrea in person when I took Miguel to her, I 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.
“WELL, I’m so HAPPY to report that Andrea was allowed to
return to her property today and THERE MADISON WAS!!!! 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 LOOOOONG month
it must have been for him!”
The family’s property had been charred, but both dogs were
safe and healthy! Madison had never left the property, and stayed
guarding the ashes even after his people returned. A few days
later, he met Miguel again, and the family was finally all
“I had the pleasure of picking up Andrea and Miguel. Miguel
was very suspicious of me, but he eventually loaded into the truck.
I think he remembered me. It was a long ride back to his home, and
he was restless. He had NO idea I was going to re unite him with
“It was the BEST feeling having Madison meet our truck. After
feeding him for almost a month, but NOT knowing he was for sure
still there, seeing him was surreal. He followed the truck, so he
must have sensed Miguel was aboard. He was wagging his tail as if
to tell me ‘I know you from around here, I think you’re pretty
Thanks to Shayla’s dedication to helping the Gaylords, their
family is whole again.
“I’ve been asked many times over these last weeks what keeps
me going when rescuing and caring for animals. Today I experienced
the what, in a way like NO other.
“I enjoy the people connection as much as I do the animals.
After all, people who love their animals are part of the
“Reuniting Miguel and Madison was amazing. They said their
HELLOS and then went back to work. Miguel took Guard over the lower
part of the property and Madison took the top.
“We looked around and still are amazed that both dogs
survived. It’s a true testament to the instincts these dogs have.
Their people lost multiple family homes. Andreas spirit is
uplifting and she hopes to rebuild a new home for the boys to watch
Dedicated Dog Found Guarding Family’s Home After It Was Destroyed
By The Camp Fire appeared first on iHeartDogs.com.
Source: FS – Dogs – iHD
Dedicated Dog Found Guarding Family’s Home After It Was Destroyed By The Camp Fire