They say that if you want a friend – a genuine, true and loyal friend – get a dog.
In California there’s a woman, Andrea Gaylord, who knows that’s the truth and a lot more beside after learning the pooch that went missing during the catastrophic Californian wildfires had spent the past month guarding the ashes of the former home they shared.
Madison, an Anatolian shepherd, was there waiting when Ms Gaylord, who fled the flames on November 8, was allowed back onto her burned-out property at Paradise this week.
An animal rescuer who responded to Gaylord’s request to check on Madison first spotted the male Anatolian shepherd after fire raced through the idyllic town and destroyed everything in its path.
Shayla Sullivan said the dog was apprehensive and kept his distance when she first spotted him. Sullivan left food and water for him regularly until Gaylord got back on Wednesday.
Gaylord told news station ABC10 she couldn’t ask for a better animal.
“Imagine the loyalty of hanging in in the worst of circumstances and being here waiting,” she said.
“Their instinctual job is to watch the flocks and we’re part of them.
“It’s a comforting feeling.”