Amid the devastation after a deadly landslide last weekend in Oso, Wash., man's best friend provided a small glimmer of hope. While searching for survivors, rescue workers were able to recover a dog from the debris.
On Saturday, the Kuntz family decided to attend their son Quinton's baseball game. It was a routine activity that saved their lives. Shortly after the family left for the game, a mudslide plowed through their house, wiping out about 30 other homes in the process. The Kuntzes returned to find their house 150 feet away from its original location. Yet they were among the lucky ones. Linda McPherson, who lived next door, was killed in the disaster.
"We have lost a great, great sister, but we're a strong family and we're going to get through this," McPherson's sister, Irene Kuntz, told KOMO News. McPherson's husband survived the mudslide.
The Kuntzes, who left their dog and cat at home, assumed both were gone. But when they returned home to witness the devastation, they heard a dog whimpering.
Buddy, their chocolate lab, was alive. He was covered in dust and suffered some cuts.
"I just broke down crying, really happy that my dog was all right," Quinton Kuntz told the news station. "I'm just shocked how well he did against my whole house falling on him."
Video of the rescue was uploaded to YouTube on Tuesday. In the clip, rescuers and survivors cheer as the dog is carried out from the rubble. Buddy clearly needs a bath and medical attention, but he is able to walk on his own.
The death toll, which currently stands at 25, is expected to rise. Over 90 people are still missing. In the aftermath of the natural disaster, this small community is rallying around the Kuntz family. Shelli Gonshorowski has set up a Give Forward fundraiser to accept donations for the family. You can visit the page here.