The family feared that if Sage hadn't succumbed to exposure, she may well have been a victim of a mountain lion attack.
But Estrada tells the Santa Cruz Sentinel he noted some movement in response to the noise of his own two dogs, and when he jumped in the water and embraced Sage, she lifted her head. Her owner Beth Cole says the family mistakenly thought she had been brought into the house.
"At first I thought it was a garbage bag in the water", Estrada said.
Estrada, who is a paramedic/firefighter in Livermore, put Sage over his shoulders and carried her up the ravine.
Estrada said he believed the dog was dead and was already thinking about how he would deliver the painful news to the Coles, when Sage lifted her head.
"It had been dry that week and the new rain was moving in", Estrada said.
The San Lorenzo Valley family searched day and night for Sage, but after more than a week, they could not find her.
Sage's rescue couldn't have been better timed, according to Estrada.
"We'd nearly given up hope", Cole said.
KCBS reports (http://cbsloc.al/2mxmMSW ) the dog named Sage is now back home and OK after a neighbor discovered her lying in a shallow stream. He adopted his red nose pitbull, Coelsch, while working for the Oakland Fire Department. "When I brought him into my room in the firehouse, the other guys thought I was insane".
"I was in this crime-ridden part of Modesto sharing scripture as part of our street ministry". When he looked down a hill at a stream he saw what looked to be Sage's lifeless body in the stream. "He's very intelligent, very feisty".
Estrada rejected a $1,000 reward from Cole's family, asking instead that the money be donated to an animal cause. Instead he's chose to use the opportunity to help more dogs.
Estrada and his friend work with leather and have made seven custom dog leashes with words like "survivor", and "hope" that will be raffled off for charity. It's a fundraiser to benefit the Santa Cruz County animal shelter.
WHERE: Joe's Bar, 13118, Highway 9, Boulder Creek.