A blind dog who vanished from her home a week ago has finally been found wandering the Californian mountains alone.
Elderly labrador Sage went missing from her home in Boulder Creek on February 24 and owner Beth Cole appealed to the local community to help find her.
The 12-year-old dog has lost the sight in both eyes having contracted glaucoma so Beth and her family were doubly worried about their beloved pet.
Despite the appeal, Sage was nowhere to be found and as time passed, the chances of finding her alive reduced rapidly – especially with the threat of mountain lions in the area.
Beth told the Santa Cruz Chronicle: “Our neighbours and other members of the community helped us search day and night for a week. We looked everywhere.”
However, just when it seemed all hope was lost, off-duty fireman Dan Estrada, who was out hiking with a friend, spotted Sage in a stream.
He said: “At first I thought it was a garbage bag in the water. My vision is not very good so it wasn’t until I got closer that I saw it’s actually a white lab laying there lifeless in this stream – her chin just above water level.
“When we saw she was alive, I jumped in the stream and hugged her.”
Dan added that rising waters due to rain would probably have meant that tired Sage would not have made it through the night.
He said it was threatening to rain so Sage probably wouldn’t have lasted another night in the open.
Sage has now been treated like a queen since she was reunited with her loving family.
Owner Beth said: “It’s been amazing. Since she’s returned home people have been bring by snacks for her; one neighbour cooked her a steak.”
A fundraiser for the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter has now been organised to celebrate Sage’s rescue.
Top pic: Facebook