Certain experiences in our lives hold a special place in our hearts. This story earned that place wholeheartedly.
Caspar, a Dalmatian, was a cherished pet. A large bundle of energy and love, he would smile and wag his body with joy when greeting people. A friend often took care of him, while I was out of town.
Friday was a beautiful day. My friend took Caspar for a late morning walk. The park, with many wilderness trails, is known as a nature lover’s dog walking paradise. An hour into their hike, Caspar decided to join a group of other dogs and before long disappeared.
It was dusk when I returned home and received the call from my friend. She was distraught and apologetically informed me Caspar was missing. She had searched the trails for hours but he couldn’t be found.
Caspar was lost once before in another park. My dog had absolutely no traffic sense. He panicked and ran back and forth from the woods out onto road and back to the woods. This time, a major highway crossed over one of the trails in the park where Caspar was lost.
Several family members gathered to help with a search. We asked everyone we met on trails and nearby roads if they had seen a Dalmatian. It was past 10pm, very dark and no one else was on the trail. Reluctantly, I agreed to stop the search until morning. While still deep within the woods and on our way hiking out, we came across a man walking his dog. When we spoke with him, he suggested I leave something behind with my scent on it. I took Caspar’s blanket from the car, held it for a while and left it on a picnic table bench.
Concerned, I couldn’t sleep. I called upon my recently passed Father to help keep Caspar safe. My Father and I were very close. I often feel his energy around me. Dad was a smoker and since his passing, when alone, I frequently smelled cigarette smoke. Be it in my home or outdoors, during the day or late in the evening, the smell of smoke was present; even when there was no one else in sight.
At first light, I was in the park. There was my beloved Caspar, calmly standing right next to his blanket! With his precious tail wagging, he ran to the car to greet me. Extremely relieved and happy, I jumped out of the car and gave him a great big hug.
I have such gratitude for the man we met that night. I wonder, was he guided there by an angel, possibly my father? It was unusual to find someone deep in the woods at that late hour. Upon reflection, just prior to meeting this stranger; I had several strong whiffs of cigarette smoke!
Written by Hannelore
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