Firefighter Dan Estrada is being hailed as a hero after he took a leisurely stroll into the woods only to emerge with a beloved blind family dog – who had been missing for eight days – slung over his shoulders.
12-year-old Sage the dog had been reported missing from his family home in San Lorenzo Valley, California in late February. The family had searched the town, put up missing posters, and even hired a dog tracker without any luck. Since Sage is also blind, they assumed the worst.
Dan and his friend Vincent Lopez were out hiking amongst the local redwoods when they found Sage lying down by a river. Dan ran towards the Labrador and coaxed it awake. Seeing that Sage couldn’t move, he slung the hound across his shoulders and carried it back to town.
Immediately after Sage was taken to the local veterinarian for a checkup, the family threw a neighborhood-wide celebration for the pup’s return. They also offered Dan a $1,000 reward, which he turned down, saying that he was just happy that Sage was safe.
Dan instead suggested that they donate the reward to an animal charity.
“It’s too easy to be caught up in daily life,” Dan said. “Too easy to miss the opportunity to be a blessing in your community.”