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Remarkable Dog Survives 18 Hours Buried Under a Mudslide

Remarkable Dog Survives 18 Hours Buried Under a Mudslide

Non-stop torrential rains in Guatemala are responsible for at least 50 deaths in recent days. In the small village of Joya Grande, near the Mexican border, the start of the rainy season proved especially deadly on May 30.

Five hours of continuous heavy rain caused the entire side of a mountain to collapse onto the village below. The mudslide reportedly buried seven houses and damaged 17 others.

Rescuers dug frantically, desperate to find anyone who might have survived the initial slide. Tragically, they found no human survivors. At least six people from Joya Grande perished beneath the mud and debris that day.

However, a bright spot in all that sadness shines like a small gem. One extremely fortunate and determined little dog made it out alive.

Could You Bark for 18 Hours? This Little Guy Could

They’re calling him “el Afortunado,” which means “the Lucky One.” Rescuers zeroed in on him under all that dirt and wreckage because they heard what sounded like tapping.

“We were looking for people and always, always was this faint sound, like a permanent rapping or tapping,” Jose Guerdola, one of the rescuers, said.

“We assumed it was someone trapped in a cellar who was hitting a pipe. We dug and dug, and we sweated and slaved, and as we got closer, we realized it was the barking of a dog.”

See video footage of the amazing rescue here:

The rainy season in Guatemala runs from May to November. Residents expect a lot of rain and periodic tropical storms, especially in the late afternoon. This year, though, they’ve been hit particularly hard and the season’s barely begun. The arrival of Tropical Storm Boris dumped so much unexpected rain so quickly that the situation all over Guatemala became dangerous in the blink of an eye.

It’s not clear how this resilient little dog managed to breathe for so long, entombed in the mud. He didn’t give up, though, and barked for all he was worth for 18 hours. It’s the only thing that saved his life.

“When we broke through to where he was, he jumped into our arms and licked our faces,” Guerdola said. “Unfortunately there was no one left alive in the rubble with him, but we took him to safety.”

Veterinarians who checked “the Lucky One” over after he was freed report that he’s in surprisingly good shape, considering his ordeal. He was dehydrated and suffering from mild shock, but otherwise fine. He’s now up for adoption in Guatemala.

Good luck to you, el Afortunado. May you find a new family very soon to love and care for you.

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Photo credit: YouTube

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121 comments

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12:59PM PDT on Jul 9, 2014

Good rescue - I wonder what happened to the little guy afterwards - he looks pretty skinny!

9:44AM PDT on Jul 9, 2014

poor dog, some people are nothing but cruelty, thank goodness there was someone to rescue the dog

8:38PM PDT on Jun 30, 2014

What a wonderful story. Thanks to those who saved him.

5:27PM PDT on Jun 21, 2014

A miracle. Thanks for the rescue :)

6:45AM PDT on Jun 21, 2014

thanks

11:39AM PDT on Jun 20, 2014

I love reading stories like this! So happy for that little dog. He sure had the will to live. Thankful to the people that saved him. Bless them all.

5:28PM PDT on Jun 19, 2014

Geezus, I hope someone FED that poor emaciated animal...

2:20PM PDT on Jun 19, 2014

to win an abandon, abused, neglected animals trust takes a lot of patience to love and thank you to the people who rescued them.

5:02AM PDT on Jun 19, 2014

El Afortunado is one brave and very determined pup. Well done to the rescuers.:) Hopefully there is an update on his adoption status shortly.

3:41AM PDT on Jun 19, 2014

Amazing! I'm so glad he was saved and the rescuers didn't give up until they found him!

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