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Buddy - This is the story of Buddy, a shy, black Lab-mix, who was lost in a snow storm on Christmas Eve far from home. To make matters even worse, he was in need of medication. The first time his companion, Susan, called me, Buddy gave us some detailed information regarding the area around where he had last been seen and Susan confirmed that it matched the locale. I kept them all in my prayers for the next few days, hoping that I'd get some good news.

Susan called back three days later and sadly reported that they had not found Buddy yet. As I made the connection with Buddy the second time, I felt reasonably sure that he was still alive, a bit tired and achey, but alive. I checked in with him and asked him to tell me how he was doing and if he could give me any information about his location. This is what he told me:

"I couldn't find her (Susan) by walking around, so I've decided to walk in just one direction."

"That way I think I'll eventually find her," Buddy said.

I gently pointed out that perhaps a better plan would be for him to be very brave and find a nice person and allow the nice person to look at the tags on his collar, in this way he and Susan would be reunited.

But Buddy thought that would be too scary, it would be too hard to let a stranger touch him.

"No…," he said, "I can tell which way is North, so I've picked that direction and I'm just going to keep walking." He really was determined.

Of course to us as humans, it is hard to see the logic in his decision, but the logic of a dog isn't always going to make sense to us. Buddy felt so sure that if he stayed true to one direction, he would find Susan.

In addition to giving me the direction he was walking, Buddy also showed me pictures of picnic tables, headlights in the distance at night, and pine trees… lots of pine trees. He gave me a clear feeling of being sheltered under the pine trees, the trees being big and thick enough that the snow didn't even reach the ground beneath them. I could almost feel the thick bed of pine needles on the ground, both soft and (relatively) warm. He reported that he had not had any seizures, but that he was breathing hard and his back legs were very tired. At that point, he also gave me the clear feeling of chronic arthritis pain in his hip joints, he had not shown that to me in the first call on Christmas Eve, but Susan confirmed that yes, Buddy does suffer from arthritis in his hips.

I suggested that perhaps they broaden their search for Buddy as it seemed that he was now on the move, especially concentrate in the Northern direction. Again, I kept sending positive energy and saying prayers for Buddy's safe return.

Some time later I finally received that happy phone call… Buddy had been found thirteen days later, 38 miles North of where he had started, lying under a pine tree! Susan told me that he was home again, recovering from a respiratory condition, but getting better every day.

Click here to read Susan's essay Buddy's Big Adventure.

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