Blind dog survives a week lost in the mountains

At the end of one of the darkest, wettest winters in memory, a bright spot has lit up the San Lorenzo Valley community in the form of an old, blind dog who went missing in the mountains for seven days. The family even flew in a search and rescue dog from Los Angeles to help, but Sage had disappeared.

"Ten of our neighbors joined our family in the search that lasted until late that night", Beth Cole, Sage's mother, told The Dodo.

After her family discovered she was missing, they looked everywhere for her, assisted by friends and neighbors, but the low temperatures, rainy weather, and uptick in mountain lion sightings didn't bode well for Sage.

Dan Estrada, Cole's neighbor, was out hiking with friend Victor Lopez and two dogs Saturday when they spotted a white shape in a nearby stream. Her owner Beth Cole says the family mistakenly thought she had been brought into the house.

An EMT, Estrada knew Sage wouldn't have made it much longer, and he carried the weak dog out of the forest.

"The very moment I saw Sage, my heart fell into my stomach and I was overwhelmed with sadness, because I knew at that point it would be a body recovery", Mr Estrada said. "Man, it was really emotional".

Sage's rescue couldn't have been better timed, according to Estrada.

"It's been harsh conditions and that dog had such a strong will to live", Estrada said.

"It was cold, she's kind of helpless as far as being able to find her way back on her own". "That streambed would have been flowing during a rainstorm".

"We've always loved our community", Cole said.

Sage is now at home resting comfortably Monday, thanks to Estrada.

"We have predators in the area, so we thought there was a chance she'd died", Cole said. He adopted his red nose pitbull, Coelsch, while working for the Oakland Fire Department. He was taking a friend from out of town on a hike. "When I brought him into my room in the firehouse, the other guys thought I was insane". "I knew he wouldn't have a shot at a good life there so I brought him with me", said Estrada. "He's the alpha dog". Her family offered Estrada a reward, which he turned down. Instead he's chose to use the opportunity to help more dogs.

Instead, he created seven leather dog leashes - one for each day Sage was lost - with Lopez. Raffle tickets to win the leashes will be available at a March 18 celebration of Sage at Joe's Bar in Boulder Creek.

A USA man hiking through a wooded canyon has stumbled across his neighbour's dog, more than a week after he went missing.

  • Arturo Norris