This morning the farmer who found Caleb stopped by our house to see how he was doing. He said before we got there he was praying, "Lord, what should I do?" He was worried about rabies. He said he knew it was divine intervention when we arrived just when we did. He also warned us of just how bad the coyotes are around here. He said his nephew has shot 23 of them! Thank you Lord for intervening on Caleb's behalf!
Today, I let the dogs out like I always do and later, when I went to bring them back in, they were nowhere to be found. This wasn't the first time they've ever gotten out of the invisible fence, but it scares me whenever they do, especially since we live so close to the highway.
Right away, I walked down to the highway and started calling for them, and I was very relieved to see Sadie off in the distance, albeit on the far side of the highway. I watched, horrified, as she crossed back over, getting honked at by two cars and dodged by others, but breathed a sigh of thankfulness when she made it back over to me safely.
But Caleb was nowhere to be found.
I got Sadie home, grabbed my phone, started calling local vets, shelters, and sheriff's offices, and hopped in the car to drive up and down the highway. I didn't see him anywhere, so I went home and kept calling places, leaving his description around town, and even posting missing ads online.
The Isanti County Sheriff's office said one guy had called in saying there were two dogs on Hwy 95 right by our house and he was going to try to catch them and bring them into Princeton. BUT, the call had gotten disconnected! And I had called everywhere in Princeton and nobody was calling back with good news.
Hours were passing. I was feeling miserable, guilty (I was supposed to have gotten him new tags and I hadn't), and very stressed.
JP came home from work early, and after dinner we got back in the car and decided to go door-to-door with some pictures to see if anyone had seen him. One lady had, and pointed us in the direction she saw him run. We followed that direction for a while, stopping at more houses to no avail. It was getting dark quickly, and a heavy fog was descending on the whole area, making it almost impossible to see.
We decided to head back toward the main highway and check a couple houses on the other side of the road. We finally got to the point where we decided we'd just try one more house and then head home. I pointed to one on the left side of the road, but JP decided on the one on the right side.
As we pulled into the driveway, I saw an old farmer walking toward the house from him barn. He had a flashlight in one hand and a rifle in the other. I approached him, showed him the pictures and started to explain when he interrupted me with, "He's right here!" I turned around and saw a cold, wet, shivering Caleb creeping toward me very timidly, tail just barely wagging.
Here is the kicker: the farmer was actually on his way to put Caleb down!!!!! A closer look showed that Caleb's whole rear end was covered in blood. He had obviously been in some sort of scuffle. The farmer said they had lost a dog to coyotes about a year ago, and when he saw Caleb so banged up and even growling at him (anybody who knows Caleb knows he LOVES people and would never growl unless he was really hurt), he figured (like old farmers do) that he'd put him out of his misery.
We hurried back into the car and started calling animal hospitals, trying to find one that was still open. I reached one right in Princeton that was literally just closing it's doors as my call came in, and they said they'd stay open for us.
After inspecting him closer, the vets said it looked like he had been at it with something smaller than a coyote, probably a large raccoon based on the size and shape of the bites. All of the wounds were only puncture wounds, not rips or tears, so he needed no stitches. They gave us some pain meds, antibiotics, and a medicated shampoo to take home. He is now cleaned up, doped up, and snuggling with JP on the couch.
I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that God was looking out for Caleb today. There were so many people praying for him. It is no coincidence that so many things fell perfectly into place just as they did.
If JP had come home from work any later...
If we had given up our search any sooner...
If we had gone to the house on the left instead of the house on the right...
If the phone call to the vet had come in any later...
...things may have turned out drastically different.
I know it's "just a dog." But it blesses me beyond belief that God cares enough about me and my family to look out for our dog. He is still part of the family, and we would have been devastated to lose him.
And if God cares that much about a dog...how much more for you?
Thank you Jesus for bringing Caleb home to us safely! You are so good!