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Runaway Annie

I wrote this blogpost three years ago after an experience with our dog Annie. I had a WordPress blog that has since been deleted so I could keep everything in one place on my website. I wanted to share this story again since today is Annie's birthday and I am so thankful to be able to celebrate it with her. May your eyes be opened to the miracles around you and I pray a new hope stirred within.

April 13, 2017

My husband and I are dog lovers. For whatever reason the more the merrier plus if you know us well you know we go out of our way to keep them in good health. Since we have no children they are indeed treated as our children but I know they would be even if we did. Recently we started talking about adding to our family and before we knew it in October without it being planned out completely we came home with our sweet Anna Grace who we call Annie. She is a spunky black lab with the sweetest personality. Sam and I talk frequently about how blessed we have been with all of our furkid's personalities. We may be biased but we sure pick them right. So our dear Annie has had some bowel issues and we have been back and forth to and from the vet trying to get this resolved. With my work schedule and the vet we are seeing having certain hours in their Mifflintown office and certain hours in their Lewistown office it's been challenging making appointments. A few weeks ago I decided to make an appointment in the Lewistown office because it was an emergency. Her diarrhea issue returned with full force and since she is not fully grown it is not healthy for her. This particular Tuesday was like any normal Tuesday and my boss and coworkers so graciously helped me get out the door at work on time to get home to pick up dear Annie to take her to Lewistown for her appointment. It was a bright sunny day the weather has been so back and forth from warm to cold and a girl can get confused knowing how to dress. Well let's be real I'm usually in long sleeves all year round but this day I was in a sweater and thick scarf not realizing the weather was to yet again get warm after probably snowing the week before. Anyway I left a little later than I had wanted but not late enough to be super stressed and feeling rushed. Annie hopped in the back seat like usual and off we went. Like usual I talked to her on and off and we jammed to The Message on Sirius radio. I talked myself into going a longer route because the vet is off of an exit that is a tough spot to pull out from but for whatever reason at the last moment decided against my plan so I would get there a little early. Unfortunately my decision in that moment changed the course of my day in a bigger way than I could have even realized. A few moments after that choice I was the center of a lot of unwanted attention. Before I knew it I had airbags flying in my face, my car beeping and hearing 911 being called, and people running over to me to see if I was ok. All I remember saying was, " I am so sorry." I couldn't get out of my driver side door so I was asked to get out the passenger side door. Then I was asked to try to get Annie out of the vehicle who thank God was ok but shaking so bad. I was able to get her out of the vehicle but when I started walking her over to put her in another vehicle to keep her safe she slipped her collar and ran full speed away from everyone and you better believe it I ran full speed after her. I was in dress clothes and boots with heels (that my aunt Coleen picked out for me on sale Thanksgiving night) but let me tell you it didn't matter I even threw the stupid scarf off my neck to get faster speed plus it was flipping' hot. The vet technicians had come outside after they realized it was me and probably to check on Annie and one of them took off beside me running and grabbed my phone calling people. Let me tell you they care for your pet BIG TIME. Finally after realizing I was not going to catch up to her I just stopped in my tracks and yelled, "Jesus! Jesus keep her safe!" I'm not sure what else I yelled but after that nobody knew which way she went once she hit a bridge dodging so much traffic. In those moments it's tough not fearing the worst. There were however so many kind people looking for her at this point. I just have to make it known that Mifflin County people are legit. They do not waste time and they are some of the kindest people. God poured His love out through many of them that day. I was feeling so stupid and guilty and angry over the choice I made yet nobody focused on that. They focused on me being ok and helping me find my dog. That is SO GOD!!!!

Ok I will try to shorten the story a little leaving out some minor details.

After everything was cleaned up and barely any evidence of an accident was remaining I went back to search for her after pacing back and forth in the vet's office and having a melt down once it finally hit me what was happening. At this point my husband had met me to help look. I jumped in the truck and we drove around looking and praying. I started thanking God for helping us find her. After looking a bit we pulled over and I am not exactly certain why but I do remember God's presence filling the truck. The only way I can explain it is the atmosphere went from stressful full of anxiety to still, quiet, peaceful, sweet. I felt the Lord impress upon my spirit to stay at the railroad tracks. I looked at Sam and said let's go back to the railroad. We get there and he walked down one way and I walked down the opposite way. I need to add again that we had random people that lived around the area stop and tell us they were helping to find her. I am telling you if you have lost hope in people DON'T!! Kind people exist. So I'm walking down the railroad tracks and I just start praising the Lord. I thanked Him for keeping Annie safe, I thanked Him for us finding her, for us at home safe and sound playing with her, and then I started singing praise. PRAISE CHANGES THE ATMOSPHERE!! Shortly after, Sam calls me and I can tell he is running and he tells me to head toward the bridge that he found Annie and she is headed my way. I take off like a bullet yet again and yell at some people,"she is coming please help!" I head toward the bridge and I stop not sure where to stand and wouldn't you know it I see her running and I see Sam running and I didn't quite hit the right spot so I start running more and the more we yell her name the worst it seemed to get. (Sound like us when we run from God?) As I was running I watched her run back to the scene of the accident and dodge even more traffic. I watched her run across the road dodging a tractor trailer and I watched her run to the vet's office. I call the vet telling them she is headed their way. By the time I could cross traffic (it's like rush hour at this point) some kids are running down the hill yelling, "he got her!" I'm like who? They said a truck stopped and someone picked her up. Ahhhhh!!!!!!! Annie was no joke headed toward a bypass and I am trusting these kids saw what they saw and someone got her. Sam and I decide to hang out at the vet a little bit longer in case this someone brings her back but let's just say we got impatient waiting and decided to keep looking just in case. A few minutes after we left the vet called me and said Annie has been dropped off at the local dog rescue so we headed straight there. As we pull up there she was our darling Annie tail wagging playing with the other dogs. The owners were so kind and we were able to take Annie home. We were also given the name of the gentleman who saved her as well.

Later that evening as Annie and I cuddled on the couch I sat and cried. I cried over how I didn't deserve God's kindness. I cried over the fact that nobody was hurt in the accident. For once I just allowed myself to cry every emotion I was feeling instead of pushing them away. Words can't express the gratitude I feel to sit here watching Annie chew on a toy dog bone. I was in a season of life starting to become weary and lose hope and let me tell you God ignited so much within me to keep pressing on! I believe in miracles more than I ever have because I witnessed them first hand. I believe in angels I believe in God. He showed up in a big way for us and we did nothing to deserve it but that is grace. Anna means grace and her middle name is grace and let me tell you ironically grace was running through Mifflin County three weeks ago and I believe there is so much more meaning to it.

As the Easter season is upon us my prayer is that love is awakened in a deeper way and we become aware of a grace that is so sufficient.

We tried to call Mike, the gentleman who saved Annie, the night of the accident but I couldn't. I actually didn't call him for a week because I would just start bawling when I tried. When we finally got in touch he told me she was just standing there in the middle of the road. I am telling you she was in a full speed run, I watched her. He told me he was able to get her in his truck no problem. That is my GOD!!!!!!

A huge thank you to Mifflin County responders, police involved, Parson's towing, Shirley the kindest soul who was one of the first on the scene to help, PleasantView/Juniata Veterinary staffs, Roff Rescue, Ruff Cuts, Sausman Insurance, Lake Ford Auto, Merph radio, Mifflin County Alerts facebook page, and everyone who shared on facebook to help find Annie.

We are forever greatful.