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It was a horrifying moment when Pete and Kris Kugler discovered that Buddy, their blind 12 year old 30 pound Sheltie, was missing as they checked to see that all four dogs were in and accounted for before turning in for the night the evening of March 8.

As was customary, their dogs would usually head for the media room, where it is dark, after being allowed outside just before their bedtime. This time, Buddy wasn’t among them.

After searching around the house inside and out, it was determined that Buddy must have escaped through an open door around 7 p.m.  The Kugler’s called on their neighbors for help.

“About 20 came out and searched the neighborhood and nearby streets from 9 p.m. until very late to no avail,” said Kris. “We began to think that maybe Buddy had fallen off the seawall into the bay behind our home on Marco Island, but there was no sign of him anywhere,” Kris said.

Kris decided to call on her “Prayer Warriors” for help.  This is an email prayer chain group of about 100 people at Capri Christian Church on the Isles of Capri who have signed up to pray for whomever and whatever is needed at any time. This particular night, Kugler’s request went out to them asking for prayer to help protect Buddy.

“As a last ditch effort the next morning, Pete took his kayak out for one last look around, which we had expected to be more of a recovery,” said Kris. “As he was paddling along, he said he prayed a prayer that God would lead him to Buddy, dead or alive, and within a few short minutes after his prayer, he saw Buddy struggling to stay afloat in the canal.

“Buddy had indeed fallen in, and by the Grace of God he survived the night,” said Kris. “We don’t know how, with nothing to hang on to because of sea walls, but he surely couldn’t have swum all night either. At any rate, God held on to him and kept him safe,” said Kris.

“Praise, praise, praise the Lord … God has brought Buddy (our dog) back to us this morning around 10:00,” Kris wrote on email to the Prayer Warriors along with this update of what happened next:

“So many of you have been inquiring about Buddy, your thoughts and prayers have been amazing, so I thought I'd just give you a quick update. Buddy spent the day at the vet with an IV, getting salt water flushed out, blood work, etc. It was recommended we take him to ASH (Animal Specialty Hospital) as he was not out of the woods yet.  We were told that the next 3-4 days would be critical. The vet said Buddy should be dead with the amount of salt water in his lungs …. Said Pete found him in the nick of time. So, Buddy is spending the night at ASH in an oxygen type machine. We are hopeful that with the proper care he will survive this. He was quite weak as you can imagine and slept most of the day. So if you think of him, send up an arrow prayer that he will make it through this.”

Buddy did well and in a very short time was released from the hospital. He is doing fine now.

“We are overwhelmed by the outpouring of concern from you all.  Much love ... thank you just doesn’t seem to capture our appreciation.  God is so very good, and you all are awesome! I’d like to thank Terri and Andy Shifflett who stopped by this morning to help search; they instead experienced a miracle. How blessed we are to have such caring people in our lives.  Thank you Prayer Warriors for your prayers, support, texts, and phone calls. Prayer is powerful and CCC has the most dedicated team ever. God bless you all and thank you.

“You know what was really interesting, we got more expressions of concern and offers to help from our prayer request for our dog than for any other request we have made personally,” said Kris, with a friendly laugh.

“Prayer is a vital part of living the Christian life, and it is such a privilege to be able to pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ,” said Kris. This is no small undertaking, and it requires time, focus and diligence, therefore Kris started the formal Prayer Warrior’s group in 2012.

The Warriors are greatly helped by the prayers that Kugler sends them on her email; to help them chose the words in their prayers for others. For example, she wrote this to the warriors after receiving a prayer request from a young man’s sister:

“Pray for her brother. He pitches for one of the Marco teams and was hit in the face with a ball Thursday night. He has several injuries requiring stitches and teeth knocked out. They have not yet told their parents (ages 93 and 94) about the incident, and are not sure how they will handle the news or how they will feel seeing his injuries. Pray God will ease the discomfort and pain that comes with these types of injuries. Pray his injuries will heal quickly, and that he can also get to a dentist to see about his teeth. Pray, as they break this bad news to their elderly parents, God will give them just the right words … pray God will be in all the details of this.”

A resident of Capri, whose identity will be protected, was brought to the attention of the Prayer Warriors several years ago because the doctors had given up on her ever being able to come off dialysis for kidney failure. Her kidneys were completely shut down for over three months diagnosed as “trauma from abdominal hernia surgery.”

Within a matter of weeks, with nearly 100 praying for her return to health, her kidneys began functioning completely without warning and they continue to do so to this day. She wrote: “This Christmas I want to thank all our family, friends and all for their prayers during my illness. I was on dialysis for three months, when my kidneys started working again. The doctor said it was a miracle, and that your prayers did it.  Thanks to all who made my Christmas merry and bright.”

To learn more about the Prayer Warriors, visit the website caprichristianchurch.org/prayer-chain.

Contact Ann Hall at ahall7911@coconuttele.net

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