Blind dog missing for 7 days found in nearby forest

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A blind dog that wandered away from her family’s Boulder Creek, California home and into the nearby forest area of the Santa Cruz mountains has been rescued. The blind Labrador retriever named Sage wandered away on February 24 after her owner, Beth Cole, thought the dog had been brought into their house that night.

According to the Santa Cruz Sentinel, the 12-year-old Lab wandered into the forest. When the family realized Sage was missing, neighbors and friends searched day and night, and not only were they worried about the dog surviving the cold temperatures, but mountain lion attacks had been reported more than usual in the immediate area.

And then on the eighth day of the dog’s disappearance, neighbor Dan Estrada and his friend Victor Lopez had been hiking behind their home when they spotted what they thought was a garbage bag in the water. It wasn’t until the men got closer did they realize it was Sage lying lifeless in the stream with her chin barely out of the water. As Estrada carefully lifted her up, Sage picked up her head noticing Estrada’s dogs, but was too weak to walk on her own.

Estrada stated he was overcome with emotion at that moment:

“When we saw she was alive, I jumped in the stream and hugged her. Man, it was really emotional. It had been dry that week and the new rain was moving in,” said Estrada. “When we found her she didn’t have the energy to lift herself out. That stream bed would have been flowing during a rainstorm. My wife and kids were waiting for us at the top. Everyone was crying.”

Estrada carried Sage out of the woods – the blind dog is responding well and is expected to make a full recovery.

Estrada turned down the reward offered by the family and asked that the $1,000 be donated to the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter. Sage is doing well, and her family is very grateful for all the help and support. What a lucky dog you are Sage!

There still are a lot of great people in this world helping those who can not speak for themselves. Dan and Victor – you are awesome heroes!

(Photos pf blind dog Sage courtesy of Dan Estrada)

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24 replies
      • ellen cottone says:

        I think Buddy could use a seeing eye dog.and one who can bark up a rescue.
        it is ironic because the breed alone makes up the majority of seeing eye dogs.
        What an image. A dog leading and helping a senior blind dog. it is an image that can open minds.
        and get dogs off kill lines. It would be nice to see smaller dogs who cant be seeing eye dogs for big people be seeing eye dogs for senior blind dogs.

      • linda says:

        Good idea. I also wonder if Pit bulls and pit bull mixes could be trained as well since there are so many in kill shelters.

      • ellen cottone says:

        All dogs can be trained as companion animals and service animals They are pack animals and born to please and want to be depended on.
        Especially pit bull and pit bull mixes. Pit bulls are an off breed of an american terrior and boxer. george washington was givin one by i think jefferson.
        so their really is no such animal as a pit bull. It was an invention of the 1980s from a movie glorifying rap music and dog fights.
        Reamber none of us grew up with a kid who had a pit bull.
        Find a picture of a hippy walking a pit bull or one in a movie from the 1950s you will not.

        I never thought of a pit bull seeing eye dog. Its kind of brillant because it would be the right size. a seeing eye dog has to be big enough to stop a blind person in their trackes.
        we all know how kind and sweet they are. A mass rescue of this breed and a companion teaching camp and training is exactally what this breed needs to get them off the despise list. The whole breed needs p.r and to be shown they are good dogs. if a group can sucessfully train a pitty as a seeing eye dog the world can see they can be a useful addition to the up and coming service dogs.
        your right. why over breed the standard sheppards and goldens when the countrys kill shelters are killing a ready and nessary canine work force. for free and ready to go

        They are trainning 10lbs dogs for serch and rescue on the thought that a lost alzimer patient, child or dementia patient can be scared of a large dog. lets get creative linda. You got ideas. you work your neighborhood and ill work mine. People listen to good ideas and eventally someone is going to run with it. But only if we keep talking about it. To anyone who will listen.

      • linda says:

        Ellen it’s worth doing some research which I will do. Hopefully I’ll find a way to start the doggy ball rolling.

  1. Cathy Rolley says:

    Thank you so very much for rescuing this blind dog and bringing her safely back home.We need more like you in this world who care enough to help the animals.

  2. Nancy Raymond says:

    Dan Estrada – You are a HERO – not only did you save Sage’s life, but you generously donated the reward to the Santa Cruz Animal Shelter – you are a prime example of what a REAL man is – Thank you so much for your kindness and compassion. What I don’t understand is HOW could Ms. Cole NOT notice her dog was not in the house – hopefully, they will keep a careful watch on Sage now.

    • linda says:

      Ellen I’m not a believer in Christianity, however, someone was out looking to rescue this precious fur baby. I believe in fate regardless of prayers or thought process. Thank goodness this precious baby was rescued.


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