Beth Cole had to endure an almost eight-day nightmare.
Cole lost Sage, their 12-year-old yellow lab, as she disappeared into the cold, Santa Cruz Mountains in California.
“It was horrible,” Cole said, according to ABC7 News. “We were so heartbroken and just feeling so bad that she was out there.”
It seemed as if Sage had disappeared. The Coles even brought in a handler with a tracking dog to no avail. After seven nights, they’d all but given up hope, until a neighbor offered some inspiring news.
Dan Estrada, a firefighter/neighbor of the Coles, had helped in the search, but that’s not why he was in the woods Saturday. He was taking a friend from out of town on a hike.
“While we were hanging out talking, next thing you know, I look over and see Sage laying on the ground right with her head in the stream,” Estrada told ABC’s sister station, KGO.
She looked motionless like she may not have survived the cold, until she lifted her head.
“I jumped in the stream, I was super happy,” Estrada said. “I put my arms around her and hugged her and threw her over my shoulders and carried her up the mountain.”
Sage is now at home resting comfortably Monday, thanks to Estrada. “I think everybody has a lesson to be learned from that: Don’t give up,” Estrada told ABC News.
In honor of Sage’s survival, Estrada and his friend made seven custom leather leashes, one for each night she was missing. They’ll be raffled off at a future fundraiser for the humane society.
I think that will be the last time Sage will venture out into the woods, again.