An intuitive search for my lost dog

Oscar in new garden

image: Oscar. (c) Dr David R Hamilton

On Sunday last week, I was about to start teaching the final day of a 3-day ‘I Heart Me: The Science of Self-Love’ workshop. I was a little early so I had just popped into a coffee shop and sat down to enjoy a warm mug before walking to the venue.

The workshop was being held in Bridge of Allan, the village in central Scotland we moved to a few months ago.

Elizabeth had driven and dropped me off as she and Oscar (our 13-month old Labrador) were going for a walk up in the woods.

After about 20-minutes I received a frantic phone call from Elizabeth. All I heard at first was heavy breathing. My heart began to race. Then Elizabeth cried out, “I’ve lost Oscar.” He’d got the scent of a female dog in season and, well, just bolted. At first she thought he had just run a little bit ahead, as he often does. We usually just shout his name or blow on the whistle and he comes straight back. But this time he didn’t.

Elizabeth was distraught. By the time she phoned me he had been lost for almost ten minutes. I immediately got up from my table, left my bag, laptop and notes lying there, and sprinted out of the door with a passing shout to the waitress that I’d be back.

It’s funny what you can do when adrenalin is pumping. I used to be a sprinter and long-jumper in competitive athletics so I suppose I have a decent technical running style when I sprint. I took off, in full sprinter style (it attracted funny looks, given that I was wearing jeans, shoes, and a leather jacket), and ran at about 90% pace for around 600 metres, with the last part being up a steep hill. Yes, it’s amazing what you can do at these times.

When I was half way up the steep hill, the pace I’d been running at registered in my body and my legs felt like they’d suddenly turned to concrete. I could hardly move. Then I heard Elizabeth’s whistle – I wasn’t far away – and just gritted my teeth and started running again. It never ceases to amaze me how much the mind can over rule the body.

Once I reached the woods, we moved together for a hundred metres or so before we thought it best to spread out. Despite the stressful situation, I felt a strange sense of knowing that everything was OK. On one level, I knew I needed to be strong to help Elizabeth keep it together. But there was something else. I just knew he was safe and I also felt I knew where to find him.

Elizabeth moved off in the direction of the road, in case Oscar took that route. She worried that he might have gone that way and then get run over, as he does have this thing about chasing cars. My instinct was that Oscar was much higher up in the woods.

Of all the multiple interlocking paths leading upwards, I went on intuition alone, hardly thinking, like a dog with its nose to the ground following a scent, just following what seemed to be the right path.

After about 5 minutes I found him playing with a small female spaniel. He’d been there the whole time. Since he hadn’t gone away the owners had begun to back track down through the woods, following the route they had taken. They suspected that the dog (Oscar) had got lost so decided it best to go back the direction they’d come in the hope that they could find the owners.

I was so relieved. And thank goodness for mobile phones! I rang Elizabeth, who broke down in tears of relief, and we arranged where to meet.

By the time I got back to the workshop, I was only ten minutes late. Fortunately I’d met one of the participants as I had earlier bolted out of the coffee shop and briefly relayed what had happened, and asked if she could explain that I’d be there as soon as I could.

The group were so nice. When I arrived, one of them carried my bags through to the seminar room and someone else offered me coffee and some water.

I’ve often said that I’ve felt like a parent since we got Oscar (we don’t have children yet) so I suspect many people who read this can relate to what we were feeling. It’s a scary experience but I’m just glad my intuition was guiding me that day.

Funnily enough, one of the self-love meditations I taught through the weekend was imagining yourself as a being of light, connected to all things. The more we acknowledge that we are connected to everyone and everything, the more connected we feel, and the more those connections can guide us at the most important of times. Sunday, for me, was one of those times!

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  1. Alisoun on October 4, 2013 at 10:41 am

    Gosh I felt like I was running up that hill with you David, so can’t begin to imagine the panic you both must have felt – I’m so glad you found a happy Oscar!

  2. Sinead on October 4, 2013 at 10:57 am

    That brought tears to my eyes, awe I’m so glad you trusted your intuition and found Oscar safe & sound 🙂 <3

  3. megan on October 4, 2013 at 11:06 am

    I’m so happy you found him – he is precious

  4. Petra Waker on October 4, 2013 at 11:12 am

    I am impresssed by your trust in the greater whole leading you and you listening, and following it.
    I am aware how much the ego part usually kicks in keeping us from gaining from this, and how far I am at times from staying with this aspect of myself and is within all of us.
    Reading this has given me renewed impetus to just be and listen to that part more. Thank you for your story with a happy ending. Petra bedfordhire.

  5. shirley harper on October 4, 2013 at 11:20 am

    So happy you found Oscar x

  6. David on October 4, 2013 at 11:31 am

    Love that Oscar was having a great time to himself while you and Elizabeth were completely frantic! My little dog, Angus, went missing for 28hrs last summer and it was the most horrendous experience I think I’ve ever had. Got him back in one piece with not a scratch. He’d pretty much managed a full tour of Glasgow and the most unbelievable string of events took place that eventually led us to where he was….the science centre at river clyde. We went missing from Glasgow Green. Delighted you got Oscar back! 🙂

  7. Cathie Way on October 4, 2013 at 11:55 am

    Hi David

    I am so glad the outcome was positive. I don’t have pets but have one precious daughter and I just know that I would have found strength to running and have asked for divine guidance in finding her if she was lost.

    Have a fabulous weekend.

    Cathie (Affirmints)

  8. Kay Holdsworth on October 4, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    I love this story. I had a similar experience a few months ago. Before I got her she had been mistreated so if she does any mess in the house she panics. Basically she legs it. I ended up running around the streets early one morning, bare footed, and a dressing gown! Phoebe could have gone in any direction, but luckily, perhaps instinctively, I chose the right path to take.

  9. Anita Martin on October 4, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    Wow, David I could feel the adrenalin just reading your story about Oscar. Yet again does it not prove how important it is for us to trust our intuition if only to keep us calm in situations like the one you experienced. I had a similar scare when my grand daughter decided to hide up in a changing room when I was out shopping with her and my daughter!! A x 🙂

  10. Jacqui Mexson on October 4, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    Trusting your intuition is sometimes a difficult lesson to learn but the more we trust it, the more we can act on it. The more we act on it, the less stressed our lives can be. The spaniel’s owners were kind and compassionate people. You are passionate about kindness and will attract kindness to you. You trusted the waitress in the coffee shop to look after your stuff – she was kind. Your students were kind to you on your return. They would have intuitively known how you were feeling and wanted to ease things for you. You reap what you sow!

  11. carol on October 4, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    This is so true David! I lost my cornfield snake she lives in the living room my husband noticed the lid was not on properly So he put the lid on . I was out with my mum we were house hunting for my mum so I had been gone about 7 hours! When I came home I said to my husband John have not seen Charlie( that’s her name) he said the lid was not on properly and put it back on I lifted lid no charlie we’ll I.just froz cos she is about 5 feet did not want to stand on her so like u used my intuition we searched whole off flat nothing ! Then I went into the spare bedroom.we lifted up the bed cos somethin just told me she would be there and yup! She was there a wee bit dehydrated but fine ! My husband could not believe she got out the small space . But snakes are like small children they get very curious when they get out but all’s well that ends well. !

  12. Deb Hawken on October 4, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    The hardest thing I find is that you alternate between blind human panic and that totally relaxed feeling that all will be well. I lost a cat a few years ago and said to my husband that I had to go out the next morning, cross the bridge, walk down 200 feet and call her. So I got up, knocked on neighbours doors, felt cross with their casual attitude. Got cross with myself, crossed the bridge, walked down 200 feet, called her and found her stuck so far up a tree that if she hadn’t been answering me I wouldn’t have been sure that tiny black blob was mine. Intuition is something everyone should be able to access. I’m glad you found him, in my family it used to be mum and dad, us, the dog, and very little in the way of a demarcation line. Why should there be?

  13. Maggie on October 4, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    Hi David,

    Thank goodness for a happy outcome – I had to speed read your story – got such a fright when I saw the title as I have been following Oscar’s story since he was a puppy – I am the proud owner of a black labrador Emma and of course today is Werelddierendag – World animal day- a big celebration here in the Netherlands and an excuse ( as if we needed one ) to spoil our four legged friends or indeed any pets and animals all over the world.

    Last year, I was fortunate enough to see you at the ICDIC in Glasgow, Scotland and I look forward to seeing you again in the future.

    Have fun at the conference this weekend and a big hug to Oscar!

  14. Laurie Andrews on October 5, 2013 at 4:37 am

    Hi David, I am so glad you found Oscar as I know (from Facebook and your blogs) how much you and Elizabeth love him so. I can tell you I have had the same experience in losing my dog and my child (not at the same time, thank goodness) and they both felt the same – terror! And tears and gratefulness when they were found. Oscar is lucky to have you both as parents.

  15. Bella on October 5, 2013 at 4:51 am

    Thanks for sharing this story David!

    Makes me think of how brilliant it would be if kids were taught how to tune into their intuition more in school … Games and techniques to build and trust their inner knowing ~ as certainly when stressed tapping into your higher faculties creates a space for grace and genius to flow through…often bringing miraculous and unexpected support.

    “Imagining yourself as a being of light, connected to all things. The more we acknowledge that we are connected to everyone and everything, the more connected we feel, and the more those connections can guide us at the most important of times…”

    This brought in a natural deep breath and elevated me to a feeling of calm and unity. What a gift thank you! Beautiful this would be a wonderful mediation to hear sometime.


  16. Claire Bushell on October 5, 2013 at 8:10 am

    What an amazing story! I’m so glad it worked out well for you. It really resonates with me as I have in the past had similar situations. What is it in the combination of powerful positive action coupled with an inner sense of calm & confidence in a happy resolution that almost makes you feel that you are being somehow guided & supported?

  17. Claire Bushell on October 5, 2013 at 11:17 am

    What a lovely story! I really resonate with this and have had some similar experiences myself. There’s something about the combination of taking powerful positive action whilst having a calm, inner confidence in a happy resolution, especially when combined with being there for someone you deeply care about, that really seems to give you the feeling of being supported and guided through life or connected as you said. And then the more we trust in this, the more of these kind of experiences just seem to happen to us.

  18. Malini on October 5, 2013 at 8:46 pm

    Hi David,
    We had a similar experience 7 yrs ago when our golden lab followed the scent of another dog and disappeared just like that three times when my husband walked him in an opened field in our area. On two of those occasions, I found him in the most unlikely places, I mean he had literally crossed the main road and had been walking along a foot path, never been taken walks for.
    I remember driving around the area looking for him first in and around the estates and by the time I got to the main road I felt like taking specific directions even I knew that he had never been there. That time I couldn’t figure out what made me to do that. I also feel that I am like his parent although I have a daughter. Quite interesting..

  19. Denise Graaff on October 11, 2013 at 11:19 am

    Oscar is a teenager now, with “teenage hormones” You can tune in by sitting him down, and explaining to him that he gave his parents a bad fright. (Look into his eyes whilst talking to him).
    Glad you found him though!

    Denise Graaff
    Animal communication
    “Our Mommy will listen to your problems”
    Tel & Fax: +27 (0) 44 699 1070
    Cell: +27 (0) 82 894 5533

  20. Naomi Dunckley on October 15, 2013 at 9:08 am

    Dear David

    I had a similar experience when my grandaughter, Amy, was living in Vietnam. She and her partner had acquired a beagle puppy, Yeto, and when he was 8 months old he slipped through their front gate, straight onto the busy city streets of Ho Chi Minh. She called me here in London in great distress. She said that she had done everything to advertise the pup’s disappearance, but to no avail.

    Like you, I believe, no, I know the Oneness that we share. I told her to do an exercise with me and that was to visualise the return of the pup, to see it being brought to their gate, to visualise it in detail and expect it’s return. Then to feel the happiness and relief at the return of her little dog, and to give thanks. Three days went by and a stray dog in Vietnam can very quickly find itself in one of the puppy markets where they are sold for meat. If it is a good example of its breed, then it would be sold off. Her pup was a good specimen.

    I had been holding this vision steadily with her, and on the fourth day I received an ecstatic ‘phone call to say that a woman had knocked at their gate that morning, and in her arms was the missing pup! I believe that in holding steady with the Oness that we share, and touching that, brought the puppy home. Needless to say, we were thrilled and so thankful.



  21. Heather Cobban on October 16, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    I’m so very glad Oscar is safe & sound, & that your intuition showed you the right path, Dr. David. Thank you also for the wonderful “connected light being” imagery – I will try that, as it sounds most helpful. I look forward to many more of your updates 🙂