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.

Photo credit: YouTube


Past Member
Past Member 2 years ago

Obrigada, Jose Guerdola e aos outros que ajudaram a resgataram este heroi!!! parabéns a vocês todos por salvarem mais esta vida!!! Que vocês recebam em dobro a alegria que puderam dar a este ser!

Edith Kosa
Edith Kosa2 years ago

Respect for rescuers, success for Lucky One , he deserves the best .

D.E.A. C.
D.E.A. C2 years ago

Thank heaven for a piece of good news. Bless the rescuers and may the little Lucky One have a long and happy life in a forever home.

pat B.
Patty B2 years ago

I am happy that good people rescued him !Thanks and blessings to them.

Marlene Dinkins

sooooo lucky soooo happy he was rescued

Roberto Meritoni
Roberto Meritoni2 years ago


Ulrike Thormeyer
Ulrike Thormeyer2 years ago

Thank you to the rescuers for saving this puppy's life.

Tetyana D.
Tetyana D2 years ago

This dog is really lucky!

Claire Jordan
Claire Jordan2 years ago

Why on earth are there people on here looking for "scum" to take revenge on? This dog was buried by *Mother Nature* - a hillside fell in on him - but so many people on Care2 are just looking for something to feel outraged about and somebody to feel morally superior to, they didn't even bother to read the article.

Valentina R.
Valentina R2 years ago

Take the scum who did this, tie him up, and and bury him alive!