When a wildfire engulfed his neighborhood in Whitewater, California, Greg Skeens first thought wasn’t for his house or belongings. Rather, the California man worried about his dog, Buck, after the Blue Heeler quietly disappeared in the flames. “It was one big, orange flame all the way around the house … and I thought we were gonna die,” Skeens told ABC News.
But the wildfire wasn’t Skeens’ only reason to worry. As the wildfire sent local wildlife running for cover, his curious pup had dashed off in pursuit of the animals. When Buck’s owner last saw him, the dog was “chasing a coyote three times his size … I thought he was gone,” Skeens remembered.
But as Skeens fretted about Buck’s disappearance, the dog was actually being rescued — and going viral in the process. Firefighters had noticed the dog near the ridge line where crew were battling the flames and decided to help him. One of the firefighters had stopped to scoop frightened pup into his arms and carried him down the hill to safety.
But although Buck was now safe in the care of animal control, it would be several days before officers realized where the lost dog lived. “And just when she handed him to me, he got all happy,” Buck’s owner told CBS Los Angeles, recalling the dog’s joyful reaction when rescuers finally brought him back home.
Regardless, getting lost in a wildfire and spending 3 days in the shelter seems to have cured Buck’s tendency to wander – at least for now. “He didn’t want me to go anywhere,” said Skeens, whose prodigal pup now rarely lets his owner out of his sight.
Regardless, the California man is just grateful to everybody who helped bring Buck safely back home. “You’re not gonna be chasing anymore coyotes, that’s for sure,” Skeens told his dog, who does, in fact, seem determined to be very good boy from now on.
Find out more about this heartwarming reunion in the video below!
J. Swanson is a writer, traveler, and animal-enthusiast based in Seattle, an appropriately pet-crazed city where dog or cat ownership even outweighs the number of kids. When the weather permits, she likes to get outside and explore the rest of the Pacific Northwest, always with a coffee in hand.
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