As the Fire Camp raged, killing at least 85 people and moving thousands more into northern California, Madison waited patiently.
The owner of the Anatolian pastor, Andrea Gaylord, was unable to reach his home in Paradise, California, when the fire began to spread on November 8th – which means that Madison was left back. For weeks, all that Gaylord could do was pray for Madison's safety, according to the California K9 Paw Print Rescue Animal Rescue Organization.
Shayla Sullivan, a volunteer with K9 Paw Print Rescue, had already helped locate Madison's brother, Miguel, in another city. But Madison was even harder to find. Sullivan identified Madison a few times in a canyon, apparently guarding the territory, and regularly distributed food and water in the hope that the dog would show up, according to a Sullivan Facebook post. He even put an article of clothing that smelled of Gaylord near home "to keep Madison's hope alive until his people could come back," Sullivan wrote.
When the evacuation order was revoked last week and Gaylord returned to the property – which had been decimated by the fire – his prayers were answered: Madison was there, apparently protecting what little remains of the house of his family.
"WELL, I am so HAPPY to report that Andrea was allowed to return to his property today and THAT MADISON WAS !!!! He had remained to protect what was left of his house and he never renounced his people!" Sullivan has written in the comment on his Facebook post, which has been shared almost 12,000 times since Saturday afternoon.
"I'm so happy that I'm crying as I write this!" He did not give up through storms or fire! A MONTH OF LOOOOONG must have been for him! "He added.
Shortly thereafter, Madison met with Miguel for the first time since the fire broke out, reports ABC10. An excited Gaylord said in an interview with the network that was overwhelmed by the joy of seeing Madison waiting for her. He also expressed his gratitude for Sullivan.
"Imagine the loyalty of going through the worst circumstances and waiting here," Gaylord told ABC10, adding, "You could never ask for better animals."
Gaylord has lost everything in the fire and is now homeless, according to an official of the K9 Paw Print Rescue. The Camp Fire ravaged a Chicago-sized area, destroying 14,000 homes and employing more than 17 days to contain.
But Gaylord was able to find comfort knowing that his dogs are safe.
"You are the best dog, "he said in the interview with ABC10, fighting in tears." The best. "