A man saves a blind labrador who was lost for a week in the woods

IMAGE | © Beth Cole

When a dog escapes, there is always a worried family at home. Sometimes the dog will come home by itself, and other times you will need to go out and look for your four-legged friend.

Sage, a 12-year-old Labrador, ran away from her house, upsetting her family. Sage was not only elderly, but also blind. They questioned how she would survive on her own in the area's forest.

© Beth Cole

The family began searching around their home in Boulder Creek, California, but there was no sign of her.

Beth Cole, Sage's mother, told The Dodo that "ten of our neighbors joined our family in the search that lasted until late that night." After that, they returned to assist for a few days.

The family's optimism began to wane after five days.

The family kept looking for their dog despite feeling hopeless. Five days quickly became six, then seven, and finally eight.

They feared that a predator had attacked Sage and hurt or killed her.

But then, by chance, a man saw something in the forest. Dan Estrada, a neighbor and firefighter, was out walking his dogs with a friend when they noticed something near the creek at the bottom of a steep slope.

"I was actually frustrated at first because I thought it was a trash bag," Dan told The Dodo. "No one wants trash dumped in the forest. When I got a closer look, I realized it was Sage."

Sage was motionless, and Dan suspected the worst. As they approached, she lifted her head, and Dan's friend noticed and responded, "Dude, she's alive."

© Beth Cole

Dan dashed down to the creek to save her as soon as he heard this.

I climbed much faster, jumped into the stream, and ran over to her. "I encircled her with my arms, kissed her, and then began to pet her. She was also able to wag her tail and hold her head up. 

© Beth Cole

Dan refused to accept the $1,000 reward that the family had offered to anyone who could help them find their lost dog. Instead, he requested that the money be given to an animal rescue organization.

Learn more about this wonderful reunion and the inspirational Sage who never gave up in the video below.

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Youtube video