Blind labrador retriever, Sage, rescued after missing for eight days

At the end of one of the darkest, wettest winters in memory, a bright spot has lit up the San Lorenzo Valley community in the form of an old, blind dog who went missing in the mountains for eight days has finally been found.

On Feb. 24, the Cole family went to bed for the night in their home outside Boulder Creek, each believing someone else had brought in Sage, their 12-year-old labrador retriever. About an hour later, the family realized she was outside and gone. Stories of Sage’s disappearance spread on facebook and many other social network users. The Cole family called a professional dog tracker and even they could not find her.

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Photos: Vincent Lopez

Eight days passed with no sign of Sage, the family was afraid, and offered a $1,000 dollar reward for whoever found their lost dog. Through the seven days, Boulder Creek has had tremendous storms that has caused critical damage all around the town. Also, to make matters worse the mountain lion activity has grown high through that week.

On the eighth day, neighbor Dan Estrada and his friend Victor Lopez decided to go on a hike around the land behind their house. Estrada noticed something in the river, and was convinced he had found Sage’s body and he would now have to bear the bad news to his neighbors. Then Sage lifted her head, perking up when she felt Estrada’s two dogs Coelsch and Barnabas near her. Estrada then carried her on his back about 100 yards up a canyon to safety. Estrada turned down the $1,000 reward from the Cole family, and instead asked for it to be donated to an animal organization.

A celebration for Sage will be held March 18 from 4-6 p.m. at Joe’s Bar on Highway 9. The event is a fundraiser benefiting the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter.

Written by Eve Cunningham

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