Last week, a family went into full distress when their beloved dog, Sage, went missing from their home. The twelve year old blind Labrador was spending time with them outside when the family returned indoors. About an hour later, they realized that Sage was accidentally left outdoors and was not in the home with them. They quickly went into panic mode–and began to search for her immediately. They searched and searched all around their neighborhood and surrounding areas in Boulder Creek, California, but to no avail. They hoped that she had wandered around in the nearby area, but it seemed as though the pooch had gone fully missing.
Beth Cole, matriarch of the family and Sage’s owner, said that: “Ten of our neighbors joined our family in the search that lasted until late that night. Then they came back to help for several days after that. We have predators in the area, so we thought there was a chance she’d died.”
However, they did not give up on their search for Sage. They continued to search around the neighborhood and even put up flyers all around the area and posted copies on social media. They also recruited their neighbors to join in on the search.
Luckily, sweet Sage was luckily found by the family’s neighbor, Dan Estrada, who actually found her by accident. He was taking his dogs for a walk through the forest by his home with his friend, Vincent, when Estrada noticed something by the stream at the bottom of a steep slope. He was not sure what it was, and upon closer inspection, he realized that it was Sage. Since Sage was not moving around, Estrada was sure that she had passed away. He shared: “I just said to myself, ‘Oh no,’ because now we’d have to do body recovery. On top of that, I’d have to tell her family, and be the bearer of bad news.” Shortly after, Vincent noticed Sage move her head, and the two rejoiced to find out that she was in fact alive.
“I climbed a lot quicker, jumped into the stream and hustled over to her. I put my arms around her and kissed her and started to pet her. And she was able to hold her head up and wag her tail…She walked maybe ten steps, but she was moving a little bit slow,” Estrada said. “Then she ran into a log. I realized that there was no way she was going to be to walk on her own. So I put the dog on my shoulders, and we made our way back up.” Since she had not eaten for eight days, Sage could not walk properly, so Estrada carried her all the way home, where she was joyfully returned to her owners. “They were crying, they were happy. We were about halfway up the mountain, and I could see that they were all teary-eyed,” shared Estrada.
And what about the $1000 prize the family promised to anyone who returned Sage home? Estrada refused to accept the money, and asked that instead it be donated to the local animal rescue organization.