Madison the dog stood guard after California wildfire until owner returned

Twitter: Muhammad Lila

We’ve all heard about dogs being called “man’s best friend,” and in this situation, canines really prove their value to humankind. Not only are dogs loving and loyal, but many of them are also uniquely blessed in making the world a better place.

All you have to do is hear Madison the dog’s story as it unfolded in the small California town of Paradise located in Butte County. Paradise has a population of about 27,000, but tragedy struck the area late last year when the catastrophic wildfire decimated life and property for Northern California.

Madison, an Anatolian shepherd mix, was residing in Paradise with his owner Andrea Gaylord, 75, when the horrific flames broke out on that November 8, 2018. She had to flee her property immediately, and unfortunately, did not have her precious dog with her during the emergency.

Andrea desperately contacted the local animal rescue organization in Paradise to check on the whereabouts of Madison. A member from K9 Paw Print Rescue told Andrea that they had first caught sight of the dog several days later. Meantime, the town of Paradise was totally destroyed and unrecognizable.

The town was now a charred ruin. The wildfire wiped out 95 percent of Paradise. At least 49 people in town and seven others in the surrounding area were killed, and some 8,000 homes and businesses were burned to the ground.

Madison was spotted guarding the decimated property of his owner and rebuffed the friendly advances of Shayla Sullivan from the animal rescue organization. Shayla tried to get close, but Madison was intent on guarding his territory. She left the dog food and drink to keep him nourished and strong.

The amazing story is that Madison the dog stayed watching over his master’s property and patiently waiting for nearly a month, never budging from the area. Shayla Sullivan had captured precious photos of Madison sitting by the charred ruins and shared them with social media. People were touched, to say the least.

When Andrea Gaylord was able to return home that month later to check on what was left of her home, she was met by her faithful companion. It was an incredibly joyous moment, and Andrea was blown away by her dog’s survival instincts and the canine’s positive outlook on life.

Andrea told ABC 10 television reporters this: “Imagine the loyalty of hanging in in the worst of circumstances and being here waiting. You could never ask for a better animal.”

Sadly, Andrea lost so much, her house and belongings, and Shayla also told reporters that the Gaylords lost 9 homes in the Camp Fire as well as their jobs.

On a pleasant note, K9 Paw Print rescuers found Madison’s canine brother, Miguel, and the two dogs had a wonderful reunion.