HomeOutdoorsNewsHeroic Dog Leads Rescuers to 84-Year-Old Owner Lost in the Desert for a Week

Heroic Dog Leads Rescuers to 84-Year-Old Owner Lost in the Desert for a Week

by Amy Myers
Photo by Galen Rowell/Corbis via Getty Images

When 84-year-old Don Gregorio Romero wandered from his home in Sonora, Mexico, his family quickly began searching all over town for any sign of him. But when they came up empty-handed, they decided to recruit a very special member of the search team – Romero’s dog, El Palomo. Thanks to the pooch’s insight, Romero is home safe after spending an entire week in the desert.

Initially, local authorities launched a search, employing teams to scour the region for days. They even recruited a few skilled tracking dogs, but they were still unable to uncover any new information about Romero’s whereabouts.

Finally, a week after Romero’s disappearance, authorities knew they needed El Palomo’s help. Officials brought the family dog to the general vicinity where folks had last seen Romero and let him lead the way. And luckily, El Palomo caught his favorite human’s scent and trotted in his direction for two miles until they finally located the disheveled and weakened Romero.

“[Palomo] led authorities between hills, roads and ravines, to where Don Gregorio was,” state officials in Sonora wrote.

Rescuers helped lead the man back out of the area where he could receive treatment at a local hospital. He sustained severe dehydration and exposure to the elements. Thankfully, he made a full recovery and was able to return to his faithful companion.

Hero Dog Waits Outside Hospital For His Owner Following Rescue

“El Palomo remained by the hospital door day and night waiting for the recovery of his beloved Don Goyo [Gregorio],” the Prosecutor’s Office said. “The unconditional love of his pet allowed Don Goyo to be reunited with his family, because it was ‘El Palomo’ who led the authorities to where he was.”

Officials also added that “On Tuesday 6 December, Don Goyo went out to sunbathe as part of his recovery and, of course, his faithful friend sat nearby to protect him.”

Photos have surfaced showing El Palomo waiting patiently outside the hospital door, waiting for his best friend to recover. Not surprisingly, the dog earned a good bit of praise from the community. After all, there was no question about who was really responsible for the rescue. Members of the search party have even deemed El Palomo a hero for his efforts.

“There is no doubt about the love that animals feel for their owners,” officials agreed. “But in the case of ‘El Palomo’ […] that love went beyond what was expected, as it helped save his life by guiding security and civil protection elements and his relatives to locate his master.”

It’s still unclear exactly why Romero was in the desert in the first place. However, his family has theorized that he became disoriented when he first wandered off.