Faithful dog guarded home for weeks after surviving California inferno

On November 8, 2018, a terrible wildfire, the Camp Fire, destroyed most of Paradise — a town of 26,218 people in the Sierra Nevada foothills in Northern California.

The AP reports that an Anatolian shepherd dog named Madison who had survived the fire, guarded his home for nearly a month until his owner returned.

On November 8, Madison’s owner, Andrea Gaylord, had fled her home, leaving Madison behind. She asked animal rescue to check on the dog. Animal rescuer Shayla Sullivan responded to Gaylord’s request and spotted Madison some days later. The outdoor guard dog was apprehensive and kept his distance, but Sullivan regularly left food and water for him.

Last Wednesday, December 5, Gaylord was allowed back on her burned property, to find Madison waiting.

He had been faithfully guarding the home all those weeks.

Gaylord told news station ABC10 she couldn’t ask for a better dog: “Imagine the loyalty of hanging in in the worst of circumstances and being here waiting.”

H/t CSM

~Eowyn

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Leeann SpringerHawkmoonCalGirlZigggyAlma Recent comment authors
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Auntie Lulu
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Auntie Lulu

What a great guard dog–he just stayed on task. I am glad that there was someone who fed and watered him.

Michael & LeeAnn Springer
Guest

Looks more like a Great Pyrenees to me… a great breed!

Jac
Guest
Jac

She leaves him behind , then expects someone else to watch out for him? She doesn’t deserve him….

Dabigragu
Guest
Dabigragu

Jac, Mandatory evacuations have many, many extenuating circumstances.

Joseph BC69
Guest
Joseph BC69

I understand your remark, however we have a living soul here, one not able to fully fend for himself in such a dire, extreme situation. To expect otherwise is simply to expect the impossible, yet warrior Madison did just that!

I doubt that we would expect even a good friend to do the same for us, because s/he would want to leave the situation as well, and no one would blame them. God has blessed dogs, as dog is God spelled in reverse!

Dabigragu
Guest
Dabigragu

Joseph, I understand your remark, however, I have lived Mandatory Evacuation on the Big Island of Hawaii recently. On May 4, 2018 at 2:30 AM Sheriff, National Guard and Police broke through our locked gates drove down our driveway with sirens and loud speakers telling us we had 10 minutes max to vacate the premises due to a volcanic eruptions. Fissure 8, one of 22 fissures was a block from our home blowing hot lava over 100ft into the air. During the chaos our animals ran out of the house. We called for them repeatedly until we were threatened with… Read more »

Dabigragu
Guest
Dabigragu

My reply of 9:11pm (creepy eh?) meant more for Jac not Joseph.

Scars
Guest
Scars

If she had to flee while away from her home, I would understand. But this lady — at least according to the article — fled from her home and left the dog behind. She clearly doesn’t deserve him. I can see leaving livestock or horses which can’t be loaded up quickly or easily, but a dog can easily be loaded into a vehicle. No excuses for this pos owner who obviously didn’t give this dog a second thought when they fled. I bet they took the time to load some “valuables” before they left, though. Plus, the fact that this… Read more »

DCG
Admin

What a good doggie!

Charles Millo
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Charles Millo

Your pet should be a part of your family. You would not leave your child behind because of extenuating circumstances .

TrailDust
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Joseph BC69
Guest
Joseph BC69

I wish I could double like your comment!

MyBrainHurts
Guest
MyBrainHurts

Like my vet told me, there is no acceptable excuse for leaving your animal behind when you evacuate. NONE. If you can get out then you can take them. I rescued a dog off the street after hurricane Katrina. She had been left behind. When I asked my vet if I should try to find her owner, he said, “Why? So they can leave her behind again in a future hurricane?” I took that as an emphatic NO. This dog became the love of my life. She actually saved my life…twice! Sadly, she passed away 2 years ago after we… Read more »

CalGirl
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CalGirl

Tears. Amazing story, Brain, and I am so thankful you shared it!!!! I have had a situation that ended up like yours….and was able to share mutual love with a dog for 13 years (she was probably about 14 years in age by then….a very large breed dog mix, a “stray” that was NEVER expected to live so long, esp, after having a cancerous tumor removed—one well-know for coming back time and time again…..). Like you, I have “never missed another living creature as much as I miss that dog.” I’ve lived in CA for over 30 years in a… Read more »

Joseph BC69
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Joseph BC69

Can you rewrite this in a way that doesn’t make me tear up?

Hawkmoon
Guest
Hawkmoon

@MBH,CG, etc,
Well stated & done…….Now there was a heartbreaking documentary on the rescue efforts of the pets left behind from Katrina, I forget the name of it, but the rescuers saw the good & bad side of pet owners. The good that came out of the tragedy, was the fact that pets were to be included in future evacuations. Your pets are family.

Hurricane Katrina – We Remember and We Learned
http://animalrescuecorps.org/2011/08/hurricane-katrina-–-we-remember-and-we-learned/

Alma
Member
Alma

This is a story worth reading.

Zigggy
Guest
Zigggy

What a good boy.
I’m trying to reserve judgement (although it’s hard!), because I’ve never been in that situation.
I hope Madison gets all the cuddles and treats his deserving heart desires.

Joseph BC69
Guest
Joseph BC69

No shit, Red Rider!

Leeann Springer
Guest
Leeann Springer

That wonderful dog looks like a Great Pyrenees to me. Madison is a twin to my two Great Pyrs. They are very loyal, protective and the perfect breed for farm life. Our two dogs sleep in the daytime and patrol the farm at night. This story does not surprise me, because GP’s will not abandon their posts and do not take their duties lightly. Madison may be Anatolian, but she’s a mirror vision of my two dogs. The Anatolian breeds are exceptional dogs and very brave. Wouldn’t it be great if the human race was that loyal? Leeann