In a moment of joy amid all of the fire devastation, a family’s beloved dog survived – seemingly against the odds.
The Weavers were forced to flee their home – Katherine Weaver still in her nightgown – as a ferocious wildfire descended on their Santa Rosa neighborhood along Wikiup Bridge Way, according to The Associated Press.
Amid all of the chaos, the family’s 9-year-old Bernese mountain dog, Izzy, got away from them, a Facebook post by daughter Beckyjean Widen on the family’s ordeal says. The Weavers couldn’t chase after the pup without putting their own lives at risk.
The Weavers had to drive through walls of flames and across a burning bridge to get to safety, the post says. The family lost everything, but the possible loss of Izzy was the most devastating to Katherine Weaver.
So, about a day and a half later, on Tuesday, Katherine Weaver’s son, Jack Weaver, and son-in-law, Patrick Widen, decided to head back to the house to “see if by some miracle Izzy survived,” the post says.
They walked almost 3 miles around police barricades, through a creek and up treacherous roads.
Jack Weaver swore upon seeing that the house was completely destroyed by the fire.
But, moments later, Izzy came running out, changing the mood from somber to ecstatic.
“Izzy’s here!” Jack Weaver calls, choking up with emotion. “Izzy!”
“Oh my God! Come here, baby!”
She bounds up to them with her tail wagging away – and the whole emotional reunion is caught on video.
“She was very happy to see us,” Jack Weaver told the AP about Izzy. “She’s such a brave dog. She was panting a lot and clearly stressed. But she was not frantic or anything.”
Despite sketchy cellphone service, Jack Weaver was finally able to get a hold of his mother.
“She just lost it,” Weaver told the AP. “She went from being devastated about losing her home to being the happiest person I’ve ever seen. I couldn’t get home fast enough. She was really, really happy ... She’s still shaken up by the whole thing, but she’s in much better spirits now that Izzy is at our house.”
Izzy was apparently fine, and a veterinarian said her thick coat likely kept her insulated from the fire.
“She didn’t have a burn on her,” Jack Weaver told MNN.com. “It definitely lifted my family’s spirits.”
Want to help? Donate to one of the fundraisers listed here.