Dan Estrada and Vincent Lopez of San Lorenzo, California were hiking the beautiful Redwood Forest on a spring-like day in late February. The men have been friends for years and decided to take their dogs with them.
When their hike was over, they stopped by the stream to let Estrada’s pitbull, Koelsch, get a drink of water. While there, they noticed a dog laying in the dirt near the water. The dog heard the two men and raised her head slowly. Dan was immediately overwhelmed with joy because he knew this dog. This was Sage, his neighbor’s blind Labrador who had been missing for over a week.
Sage’s owners were devastated when she went missing and posted lost dog signs all around town offering an award. They even posted on Facebook, called a professional dog tracker, and had search teams looking Sage. They were pessimistic about the search for Sage since the area is known for lurking mountain lions.
Dan Estrada ran up to the dog and kissed her all over. He loved Sage and had a close relationship with her. His dogs play with Sage on a daily basis. Estrada noticed Sage was exhausted and weak, so he hoisted her over his shoulders and carried the 12-year-old dog up the hill.
“It really was a miracle,” Estrada shared.
“I’m happy we found the dog,” said Lopez.
As soon as Estrada got home, his wife called the owners and they raced Sage to the vet. The vet examined the dog, and luckily, she was healthy, despite her exhaustion.
The community gathered to welcome Sage home. One neighbor fried a steak and fed it to Sage.
“Our neighbors and other members of the community helped us search day and night for a week,” Sage’s owner Beth Cole said, “We looked everywhere.”
Cole offered the $1,000 reward for finding Sage, both Estrada and Vincent declined the money. They preferred it be donated to the local animal shelter. The shelter that threw a “Welcome home” party for Sage, which will also be a benefit to raise money for the shelter.
Estrada was overwhelmed with phone calls and messages from people praising him for his heroic act after Sage’s safe return home. The news went viral, and this was strange for him since he has served as a firefighter and paramedic for Livermore Pleasant Fire Department for over twenty years.
He has rescued many people, and only six years ago he saved a dog from a burning house. The dog was trapped in a closet, and the house was filled with smoke, when Estrada went in and brought the dog to safety.
Dan is humbled by all the social media attention and is hoping that his act of kindness inspires others to take the time out of their day to be kind to others, and do good deeds.
Estrada and his friend Vincent Lopez were recently on another adventure. While on their way to a bachelor party, they saw a couple of men broken down with a flat tire. We all know what happened: They stopped to help; it’s just in their nature!
Let’s help the random acts of kindness spread around the world by SHARING Sage’ s rescue story.