Mysterious Ways
By Adam Hunter

Miracle Pup Comforts Grieving Family

California couple Esther and Nelson Nieves were heartbroken. Their 15-year-old Beagle mix, Dude, had been brutally killed by an escaped pit bull outside the home they shared with their relatives.

Ever since he was a 4-week-old puppy, Dude had been by Nelson’s side, and recently, after Nelson retired, the dog had come with him everywhere. Now Dude was gone.

According to an article in the Manteca Bulletin, Nelson's nephew, Delfino, was worried about his uncle. Two days after the tragic event, he spoke to his father, wondering how he could help lift his uncle out of his depression.

“Have faith,” his father told him. “God will step in before He asks someone to suffer more than is reasonable. Just give it time.”

Twenty minutes later, Delfino stepped out onto the front porch of the family’s home to have a cigarette. Something caught his eye. Right at the foot of the Virgin Mary statue the family kept near their front door was a curled up bundle of fur.

It was a dog — a beagle puppy.

The dog shook when Delfino approached and backed away. Delfino wasn’t sure what to do. Finally, he decided he had to tell his aunt and uncle. He ran upstairs to give them the news.

His aunt and uncle didn’t believe him. Then Nelson came outside to see the dog. To everyone's surprise, it ran over and jumped into Nelson's arms.

The dog had no collar, no tags, no chip. He seemed to have no owner.

Until now.

Delfino admitted to the local paper that people had every right to be skeptical. Maybe some kind soul who heard about Dude simply dropped the new puppy off on the family’s doorstep.

But if so, why did the dog stay on the porch? And why was he fearful of everybody else who tried to approach — except Nelson and Esther?

Was it simply an exceptionally trained dog… or were other forces at work?

Nelson and Esther have made up their minds on that question. They’ve named the dog “Spirit.”

Of course, it’s not the first time we've heard of a mysterious dog that appeared when needed. One of our classic Mysterious Ways stories tells the tale of a minister’s family, living in a crime-infested neighborhood, who received some unexpected protection.

Have people, animals or something else come seemingly out of nowhere to comfort or reassure you? Share your story with us, in the comments below or at mw@guideposts.org.

Adam Hunter is a senior editor for Guideposts magazine and Managing Editor for Mysterious Ways. He’s edited Mysterious Ways since October 2006, and is continually amazed by the astounding stories shared by readers. Follow him on Twitter: @MMysteriousWays

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