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A Coyote Guide

She and her dog were shown a new path, a new perspective–courtesy of an unlikely angel.

By Velia Hilderbrand, Cornville, Arizona

As appeared in

Okay...we’ll just go to the right. “Come on, girl,” I whispered. With my eyes steady on the coyote, I cautiously sidestepped toward the path to our right. I wasn’t sure where it led, but I knew it was safer than passing by that coyote.

As we moved right, the coyote moved alongside us. I drew Burga’s leash in. The coyote stopped and stared at us.

Now what? I questioned the wild animal’s motives, but in that same moment I felt compelled to fall in step beside it.

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Walk with a coyote?

The idea seemed crazy but I did it, Burga at my opposite side. Dusk introduced the night, the canyon, quiet. I felt surrounded by peace, protected. The coyote beside us, but at a safe distance, glanced over at us every few meters, making sure we were still in step.

As we traveled together I looked down at Burga, then to the coyote. Each remained indifferent to the other’s presence.

Soon the quiet of the canyon carried the sounds of traffic. We were nearing the canyon’s entrance! All three of us exited the trail onto the hard surface road. I spotted my pickup truck in the distance. Burga and I broke out into a run.

Halfway to the truck, I looked over my shoulder. The coyote stood still in the fading dusk light, watching. It wasn’t until it was all over that I was able to fully digest what had transpired. Burga hadn’t seen that coyote.

My mind toyed with an idea: Was that really a coyote or was it an angel? An angel meant for only me to see? Years later I still don’t have the answer, but I know what I believe.

That walk in the canyon sent me a message loud and clear. No matter what fears I get lost in, God will be right there beside me, to guide me safely through.


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