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Dog lost during Calif. wildfire reunited with owner

Published: Aug. 6, 2020 at 10:45 AM EDT
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BANNING, Calif. (CNN) -- A happy reunion took place when a dog that went missing during a massive wildfire in Southern California was rescued and reunited with his owner.

Greg Skeens’ home was threatened this weekend by the now 27,000-acre fire. Flames burned right up to the deck around his log cabin.

“It was one big, orange flame all the around the house, and I thought … I thought we were going to die,” said Skeens.

His cabin would have burned down too, if it wasn’t for the firefighters who stood their ground and saved it.

Unfortunately, there were other dangers ahead as a wave of wild animals fled out of the California hills onto Skeens’ property because of the flames. Right in front, was Skeens’ curious little blue heeler, Buck.

“He was chasing a coyote three times his size,” Skeens said. “What he don’t know is coyotes eat dogs.”

Buck ran after the coyote and never returned, leaving Skeens to believe he was eaten.

“I thought he was gone,” he said.

However, Orange County firefighters found Buck farther out into the fire line. He wasn’t burned and was given to animal control officers who discovered he went missing from Skeens’ property.

After three nerve-wracking days apart, Buck was graciously guided back home.

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

During their happy reunion, Buck held onto Skeens’ leg.

“He didn’t want me to go anywhere,” he said.

Skeens wanted to thank all the first responders who had a part in saving two things that are very important to him: Buck and his home.

He also hopes Buck has learned his lesson.

“You’re not gonna be chasin’ anymore coyotes, that’s for sure,” Skeens said to Buck.

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