Animals

This Dog Went Missing During A Wildfire. How He Was Reunited With His Owner Is Astounding

The dog's owner thought his pet was a goner. See how firefighters got this curious pup back home where he belongs.


As a literal ring of fire surrounded Greg Skeens' log cabin home in Orange County, CA on Sunday, he thought the worst.

"It was one big orange flame all the way around the house, and I thought we were going to die," Skeens told WTVD-TV.

The flames crept closer to his property, but firefighters were able to arrive quickly and save Skeens' home. Another problem quickly arose as the fire pushed wild animals from the hills on to Skeens' property.

The fire surrounded Skeens' property and forced wild animals down from the hills. Screenshot: WTVD-TV

Before Skeens knew what was happening, one of his dogs took off chasing a coyote Skeens said was "three times his size."

"What he don't know -- is coyotes eat dogs," Skeens said.

Skeens thought that his beloved Queensland blue heeler, Buck, was gone for good.

When Buck took off chasing a coyote, Skeens thought he was gone for good. Screenshot: WTVD-TV

Thankfully, firefighters found Buck further out by the fire line, and although he didn't appear to be in great shape, the pup wasn't burned – he was likely just tired and scared. After tending to the dog and giving him water and a bit of someone's sandwich, the firefighters got him safely down the hillside and took the pup to animal control.

video c/o OC Firefighters, Local 3631/Facebook

The OC firefighters later posted the video to social media where it was shared thousands of times and many folks praised the firefighters' life-saving efforts, even for the four-legged population.

"Stay safe, hydrated and be careful," one person commented. "Thank you for showing love to the dog. Your job description covers many areas."

"I think they just found a friend for life," another person wrote. "These guys are under paid and work their butt off and risk their lives. I definitely appreciate their hard work!!"

It looks like Buck is happy to be home with his owner and siblings. Riverside County Animal Services/Facebook

A few days later, an animal control officer ran into Skeens, and after hearing his story, the worker was able to reunite Buck with his owner.

"As soon as she handed him over to me, he got all happy," Skeens said.

Skeens said that once Buck was home, he attached himself to his leg and wouldn't let go.

"He didn't want me to go anywhere," he said.

Buck was shaking with happiness when he was reunited with his owner, Greg Skeens.John Welsh

The Apple Fire continues to burn in southern California, however thanks to the heroic efforts of the firefighters, only a handful of homes have been destroyed. The U.S. Forest Service says they hope to have the blaze contained by mid-August.

As for Buck, Skeens says he hopes he learned his lesson not to chase coyotes. Judging by the pup's smile when he was back with his best friend after his 3-day adventure, we don't think he'll be heading for the hills again anytime soon.

Hopefully Buck will stay put and won't chase wild animals anymore! Screenshot: WTVD-TV

How can you start something good?

You can help those (furry and human) who have been affected by the California wildfires by donating to the following organizations:


American Red Cross

California Community Foundation's Wildfire Relief Fund

California Fire Foundation


Let's #StartSomethingGood together!

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