A wildfire is a fire which occurs in an area of combustible vegetation either in the countryside or rural areas. The 2017 wildfire season was by far the worst in British Columbia’s history. There were over 1,000 fires which collectively razed nearly 9,000 sq km in total according to the region’s Wildfire Service. The fires have cost the region nearly $204 million in damages.
Growing forest fires in western Canada during that time have forced thousands of people to move from their homes to safer areas. Lynn Landry and her husband were no exception and they left their home out of necessity. They were forced to leave behind their flock of 90 sheep and 2 dogs as well to protect the flock against the fire and bear attacks.
Tad and Sophie, the two sheep dogs, were left in charge of the flock of sheep. The couple left over 35 pounds of dog food in hopes that their animals would be safe after the fires subsided. After 20 days of leaving their home, the Landry’s were finally able to return to their abode in North Vancouver, British Columbia.
They were astonished to find the two dogs guarding the sheep in a field. Only one of their 90 lambs could not be found but the rest were all there. This was remarkable because their neighbors houses were all burned to the ground and yet their flock survived.
Landry said, “They protected them from wildfires, but also from bears and coyotes. The sheep would never have survived without them.” She added that the family rewarded the dogs with a well-earned steak meal and “a good pat”. She also said that the pair have settled back to their normal lives well.
The two Maremma sheepdogs, Tad and Sophie, have earned the title of heroes because they carried out their duties in the face of the disaster. They were incredibly lucky because the Landry’s house was spared by the raging fires while their neighbors weren’t as fortunate.
After returning home, Lynn took a picture of the dogs and posted it on social media with the caption “Our beautiful but very dirty guardian dogs.” Many internet users praise the pups for their heroism and are pushing for them to receive a Purina Animal Heroes award. There are also netizens who blame the owners for leaving them in the first place.
Lynn combated these negative comments by saying “These dogs are very loved and treasured. We worried about them every day. We applied daily for permission to go in but were denied due to the fire danger.’ She also added that the animals had never been in a vehicle and to try to separate them would be ‘cruel and cause them unbelievable stress.”
The dogs weren’t entirely alone either as they were helped by the Canadian Disaster Animal Rescue who went into the home to feed the dogs. They even opened another bag of food for them.