Almost all hope was lost for a family when their blind 12-year-old Labrador retriever went missing in the Santa Cruz Mountains at the end of February, according to a story published in the Santa Cruz Sentinel.
The San Lorenzo Valley family searched day and night for Sage, but after more than a week, they could not find her. Coupled with cold nights and reported higher-than-normal mountain lion activity, they began to fear the worst, according to the Sentinel.
But the story turned out to be a happy one: On the eighth day of the dog’s disappearance, neighbor Dan Estrada discovered her lying in a creek, exhausted but alive, according to reports. A photo posted to Facebook shows Estrada carrying the dog on his back out of the woods.
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“As soon as I saw her in the stream, I ran to her and I just dropped right there in the water and wrapped my arms around her and gave her a big hug and a kiss,” he told CBS San Francisco.
An avid dog lover himself, Estrada turned down a $1,000 reward from the family, according to CBS San Francisco.