One of the worst moments you can experience as a pet owner is when a pet goes missing. Whether they run away, get stolen or some other unfortunate event, it is almost impossible not to feel a wave of sadness when that happens. The same goes for Sage’s family who was left in shock when their dog disappeared. Check out this amazing story!
Sage is not an ordinary dog. The 12-year-old female Labrador is unfortunately blind. Of course, this didn’t stop her to enjoy life to its full potential with such a loving family by her side. Her owners always cared for her and made sure she had everything she needed.
19. A Mistake
One day, Sage and her family were sitting outside, in their yard, and enjoying the nice weather. Unfortunately, the owners accidentally left the blind Labrador outside and only realized their mistake one hour later.
The moment they realized Sage was nowhere to be found, they started searching for the poor dog. At first, they searched the surrounding area, hoping the Labrador was just sniffing around and wandering for a little bit. But odds were not in their favor.
The family wasn’t alone in the search of their beloved dog. “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”, Beth Cole, Sage’s mom, said.
In the beginning, the family had really high hopes regarding finding Sage. However, after five days with no sign from the pooch, they started to lose their hope. “We have predators in the area, so we thought there was a chance she’d died”, Cole said.
15. Not Giving Up
Even though the situation was far from pleasant, the family didn’t give up on their goal. The search went on, they put up flyers, posted about their missing dog on social media and spread the word around their neighborhood.
14. A Turn Of Events
The family’s next-door neighbor, Dan Estrada, was the person who eventually changed the whole story of Sage. It all happened when he, a friend and Estrada’s two dogs went for a leisurely walk through the nearby forest.
13. Deceiving Appearances
Only fifteen minutes passed when the group spotted something unusual in the forest. “At first I thought it was a trash bag, so I was actually frustrated. Nobody wants people dumping trash in the forest.”, Estrada said. Then, he and his friend and the two dogs approached what it looked like a bag.
12. Poor Sage
As Estrada got closer, he realized it was Sage all along, tucked inside a small cove right next to a stream. At first, he noticed the dog wasn’t moving at all. “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”, Estrada said. Then THIS happened!
11. The Hero
But Estrada had to check Sage’s condition. “ I ran to her and I just dropped right there in the water and I wrapped my arms around her and gave her a big hug and a kiss. And immediately she held her head up”, Estrada said.
Despite the good news, Sage’s condition was not good. Sage was in a state of extreme weakness, which determined Estrada, who is a paramedic and firefighter, to lift the Labrador and carry her on his shoulders.
9. Her Friends
Sage immediately sensed the smell of her two walking buddies, Barnabas and Köelsch, who were also looking for her. “She walks with those guys. She picked up her head and she’s looking around for them and she’s happy”, Estrada explained.
8. Sharing The Good News
On the way back home, Estrada’s friend was in charge of contacting Sage’s family and giving them the best news: their dog was found alive! Imagine the relief and utter happiness on the family when they heard about Sage.
“They were crying, they were happy. We were about halfway up the mountain and I could see that they were all teary-eyed”, Estrada said. After eight days without shelter and food, Sage reunited with her family.
The Cole family was willing to offer $1000 as a reward to anyone who found Sage. The most impressive fact about Sage’s character? He refused to take the reward but asked for the money to be donated to an animal rescue organization.
The family went through a nightmare, imagining the worst about Sage’s fate. “It was horrible. We just didn’t know. It was cold, she’s kind of helpless as far as being able to find her way back on her own”, Ms. Cole said.
4. Big Plans
Currently, Sage is recovering from the traumatizing event. Ms. Cole, however, organized a fundraiser to celebrate the dog’s rescue, while raising money for a local animal shelter at the same time.
3. Important Lesson
The story of Sage’s disappearance and survival taught everyone an important lesson. The family understands now, more than ever, that you should never lose hope or give up on those you love.
2. Unfortunate Condition
But why is Sage blind? What happened to the old female Labrador? Unfortunately, Sage had glaucoma in one eye that left her completely blind and a tumor in the other eye. Luckily, she had her family by her side during these experiences.
In the end, Sage was found an now is safe and sound. “Our family is so grateful to have Sage home! Our small town has really pulled together around this happy ending made possible by our neighbor, Dan”, Mr. Cole said.