Man waits for help after 70-foot fall in secluded forest then real-life “Lassie” appears
“At first we didn’t believe it because it sounded like a movie."
D.G. Sciortino

Saul, a California Border Collie, is being hailed as a hero and real-life “Lassie” after leading rescuers to his owner who broke his ribs and hip after a 70-foot fall.

The 53-year-old owner was hiking in a remote section of Tahoe National Forest during the evening when he fell.

Despite him have broken bones, he was eventually able to get to a location where he had some cell service to call local authorities.

A search team of about 25 and members of the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office immediately started scouring the woods for the man who had been left in the woods

“Some searchers thought they heard a voice calling out, but they couldn’t figure out where it was coming from,” Sgt. Dennis Hack told KRCA.

Police were in the process of trying to ping the man’s phone when his dog Saul came running out from the forest.

The New York Times reported that the dog seemed to make eye contact with some members of the search team.

He then spun around in circles before running 20 feet ahead of them and leading them to where his owner was.

“Hey, I think this dog is trying to lead us somewhere … So we’re going to follow him,” Hack said one of the rescuers spoke into the radio.

Rescuers said it was a total “Lassie” move.

“The true credit goes to the subject’s K9 Border Collie that ran through the forest approximately 200 yards and in true ‘Lassie’ fashion to flag down two searchers,” the team said in a Facebook post.

Lassie was a fictional female Rough Collie dog in the TV show Lassie who was known to rescue humans in a similar manner.

Saul’s owner was found lying in a bed of dirt under a camouflage tarp.

‘They started following him. They went somewhere between 150 and 200 yards and took them right to the victim,’ Haack told NBC.

The owner was airlifted to the hospital to be treated for serious injuries and continually asked to be reunited with his best friend Saul.

Saul was taken care of at a non-profit while his owner was in the hospital.

“Great work and skill by all involved today and for the Border Collie, he was transported back to Grass Valley and given a well-deserved dinner,” Facebook said.

NBC News - YouTube
NBC News - YouTube

And he got a bunch of beef jerky when he was finally reunited with his dad.

Hack said when he originally caught wind of the story, he was in shock.

NBC News - YouTube
NBC News - YouTube

“At first we didn’t believe it because it sounded like a movie,” said Sgt. Dennis Haack of the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue. “When they came back and actually described it to us, the reality was that they had followed the dog directly to the victim.”

Saul’s story is quickly gaining national attention and was featured in a video on NBC New’s YouTube channel.

“Border collies are so astute. But all dogs are precious treasures. I have a very grumpy and snobbish Shih Tzu. Yet when I’m crying or angry, she is always the first one to stay by my side as if to assuage me. Bless Saul and wishing his owner a swift recovery,” one Youtuber wrote.

Learn more about this incredible story in the video below.

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By D.G. Sciortino
D.G. is a contributing writer in Shareably. She's based in Connecticut and can be reached at