Ten years of age and I was up a tree when a voice spoke: "Go home, your parents are worried about you."
It was about 10pm and there was no body around. The tree was in situated in the grounds of an elderly residential home. There were some lights on inside the building, but none on the outside. The night sky was clear and the moon was shining. Nobody was to be seen. The air was crisp. You knew to expect a frost the next morning. People were more intent in stoking their fires or getting into bed rather than being outside. Not everybody had television then, so most people tended to go to bed early.
Two of my younger brothers had taken our two dogs for a walk during the late afternoon and somehow lost them. I was looking for the two dogs, especially the one that I considered to be my own dog. This dog I really loved. Her name was Sally. She was a fox terrier cross, but didn't have foxy coloring. Instead, she was a brown dog with gold and tan coloring that made her look quite stunning. The other dog was a handsome dog, we called Spot. He was a springer spaniel cross, with a white coat lightly speckled with black flecks, a black head with light tan markings above the eyes and around his mouth, one large round black spot on either side of his body, and the perfect spray on his tail. Spot looked more like a dog than Sally. But Sally was a smarter dog and I used to teach her tricks. She loved me, too. Never once did she bite me, even when I accidently hurt her.
When I learned the dogs were lost, even though Spot was my brother's dog, I considered them both my own. With tears in my eyes, pain in my heart, I went searching for my dogs. Over five hours had passed and I couldn't find them. I started to direct my thoughts towards God and began calling upon him to help me.
Back in those days, where I lived, schools used to get milk delivered every morning in little half-pint bottles (about 500ml); one for every child. At the front of the school, special overnight storage facilities existed for the milkman to put the crates of milk. I decided that I going to get into one of them and not go home until God brought me my dogs. Anyhow, I decided that if the milkman comes too early, God might not have enough time, so I made my up to find a tree and get a little closer to heaven.
I was up the tree for about five minutes, when I heard the voice telling me to go home, I looked down to see if anybody was around, but there was no one. There was nobody above me at the very top of the branches. And the voice was so loud, so definite, I decided that this was God who was telling me to go home.
My parents were worried about me. I told them I couldn't find Sally or Spot. I do not know whether they had contacted the police or not. I just got into my warm bed and went to sleep.
Spot turned up a couple of months later. One morning when I was about to go out the back door, there he was wagging his tail. Then a month or so later when walking with Spot looking for Sally, in the area I had searched on that long night they had gone missing, a boy challenged me about stealing his dog. But Spot was not going with him. I wasn't letting him, and Spot himself seemed like he was prepared to back me. From that time on Spot and I seemed to develop our own special relationship.
My parents and others nearly convinced me that Sally must have got run over by a car or truck or something. But I knew different, someone stole Sally, because she was so special. She was so good looking that even the handsome Spot could not share her spotlight. And I knew why people would want to steal Spot. Gee, he was a good looking dog.
In the end, I concluded that Sally must have died, because I believed that God would have brought her back home, too, just like Spot came back. I believed God cared and would answer my prayer, but somehow Sally must have been killed before I got to pray.