By Devin O’Branagan
A while back, I visited a woman and her elderly, crippled Australian Shepherd on their ranch here in Colorado. He was a sweet soul who became injured saving her life. Apparently, an angry bull knocked her unconscious in the barn, and no people were around to help her. The bull tried to stomp her to death. Her Aussie stood over her, fighting off the bull until help arrived. It had happened many years before, and she still wept while telling the story. He was her miracle. Animals are miracles for many of us. When I asked my social media friends to tell me about their own animal miracles, here is some of what they shared:
Kara Moseley: “Calli, my Sheltie, kept biting at my left knee. The spot turned out to be malignant melanoma, so I had surgery. However, afterward she kept biting at it. I went back to the doctor, and he insisted that he had removed all the cancer. Calli persisted giving the spot attention, so I persisted with the doctor. It turned out that he hadn’t gotten it all with the initial surgery.”
Tammy Crosby: “When I was about 7 years old we went to my mom’s friend’s cattle farm. We often went, but this one time their son and I tried to cross the long fenced run area between the barn and the cow pasture, something we were told to NEVER EVER do as they had this super mean bull called Geoffrey who could appear suddenly from nowhere. We watched the bull eating in the field and he sure didn’t ‘seem’ to be paying attention. Needless to say, just as their son crossed safely, I slid under the fence to find that I had the bull’s full attention. He was charging at me. I froze in absolute terror, I couldn’t breathe or move or anything. I’ve never been so scared in all my life. The rampaging bull was only about 30ft away from me when out of NOWHERE comes this big black shadow. It jumped on his head and nearly took the bulls ears off with its ferocity. I remember seeing the blood and then hearing my mom yell ‘run!’ which snapped me out my terror coma and I ran and dove out of the run.
“The black shadow was a jet black dog called Tina and she was about 110 pounds of pissed off Great Dane.
“Apparently, what had happened inside the house was that Tina had been going absolutely bonkers—so much so that my mom and her friend let her out and then they watched her curiously as she tore off into the cow field and barreled headfirst into the bull. How the hell that dog knew what was happening I’ll never know, but I know it was a damn MIRACLE I’ll tell you that much. Still get choked up talking about that day. That dog saved my life.”
Michele Gregory: “When I was 8 years old, my family moved from California to Georgia. I was running with our dog, Peanut, in a wooded area across from our house. He stopped and started barking and running in a circle—around a rattler. I don’t think I had ever seen a snake, and I knew by the way he acted that it was something dangerous. Peanut ran circles around the snake, while I ran to safety. Peanut also got away without anything happening to him.”
Amy Herrmann: “In 2001 I was undergoing chemotherapy for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. It made me so sick I often questioned whether or not it was worth it to keep going. I was 30 with a wonderful husband and a toddler, so of course it was. The year before we had lost our 6 yr old Ridgeback, Nigel, to a neurological disorder and hadn’t gotten another dog yet. I remember one day in particular I was so sick physically and emotionally—it was one of the worst days of that whole time. Finally, in the afternoon, I managed to fall asleep. I dreamt that Nigel was lying next to me, comforting me the way that only a dog can. It was so real that I could feel the texture of his fur under my hand. When I woke up I felt much better, and the spot where he had been was warm. I believe with all my heart that he visited me that day.”
Michele Gregory: “I had a Norwegian Elkhound, Valerie. She was a huge part of our family and helped me and my girls through the hard times after a bad divorce. I had just moved and started a new job. I was going to have to fly out of state for some training. I took my girls to the store hours before I was to go to the airport. When we got home, Valerie had passed away. My daughter was devastated by her departure. My boss cancelled my flight, and I stayed home with my girls. A week after she passed, my daughters and I were watching TV, and Valerie walked in front of the screen. She was there and then she was gone. We all saw it, so I knew it was not my wanting her to be with us.”
Our animals comfort and protect us in the most miraculous ways. Many people believe we are animals’ caretakers; I think that often they are ours.
Photograph of Calli taken by Kara Mosely and used with permission.
Copyright © 2014 – Devin O’Branagan – All Rights Reserved
Devin O’Branagan is a bestselling author who writes novels about uncommon heroes. Her genres include fiction about dogs and cats, comic romance, paranormal romance, and paranormal thrillers. She is a member of the Dog Writers Association of America, the Cat Writers’ Association, and many of her writing projects support animal rescue. Her books have been published by Simon & Schuster’s Pocket Books in English, Heyne Verlag in German, and Dogan Egmont in Turkish. They may be found in print, eBook, and audio formats. Visit her website at DevinWrites.com, and check her out on Facebook and Twitter.