By Billy Kidd

A blind dog was lost in the mountains in California for more a little over a week before being rescued. Sage, a 12-year-old Labrador, lost both eyes due to glaucoma and a recent tumor. For eight days, she was alone, lost in the thick woods of the Santa Cruz Mountains. The family mistakenly thought the dog was brought into the house until they realized an hour later that Sage was missing. Sage’s owner, Beth Cole, said. “It was horrible. We just didn’t know. You know, it was cold, she’s kind of helpless as far as being able to find her way back on her own.” Despite Sage’s disappearance spreading over social media and the efforts of a professional dog tracker, Sage was nowhere to be found. The family was just about to give up when their next door neighbor, Dan Estrada, happened to be walking with a friend in the woods and spotted Sage’s near lifeless body close to a shallow stream.

What he initially thought was a trash bag by the stream turned out to be Sage as he approached even closer. “As soon as I saw her in the stream, I ran to her, and I just dropped right there in the water, and I wrapped my arms around her and I gave her a big hug and a kiss. And immediately she held her head up, ” said Estrada. He carried her over his shoulders about a 100 yards up the canyon. He believes water from the creek likely saved her.

Estrada turned down the $1000 reward but says he earned something even better. A lesson to never give up no matter how dim things seem to be at times. The great news from all of this is that there will be a fundraiser benefiting the Santa Cruz County animal shelter to celebrate Sage’s rescue at a local bar on Saturday.

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