A few Fridays’ back I got one of those phone calls you never want to get. It’s my Mum, she’s in tears ‘We’ve been involved in a car crash and Lottie has run off’. The phone then goes dead.

In the car is my step Dad Terry, Jake a mix breed rescue dog and Lottie a three year old Labradoodle. They were travelling down to go on holiday in Cornwall from Darlington where they live, stopping off with me for the night on the way.
I make three calls, one to my aunty who was coming to dinner that night and ask her to look on the internet to find out where the crash could have happened. One to Andy who is in the police so he can navigate me to the back roads behind the crash and one to Cat my business partner so she can call all the lost dog organisations before they close for the weekend.

I jump in my car and I’m off hoping I will get a text telling me where I am going as I head out of Bristol.
Jumping back in time to before this day I had decided to fill up with petrol when I had a quarter of a tank. I am a woman of random thoughts I act upon many of them. The random thought that caused the refill of petrol was ‘what if I need the car in an emergency and I don’t have time to get fuel’. Your logical mind jumps in and says ‘what emergency? Really!’ I know better to ignore random intuition.
My mother had a similar random thought. Lottie’s collar and name tag got damaged on the walk the day before they were setting out, she sent Terry off for a new collar the morning of the day of the crash. Saying ‘you never know we might be in a crash and she will need a collar on’.
I get a call from Mum. I now know where they are and what has happened. A three car pileup, the back window smashed, Lottie jumped into the bonnet of the car that hit them, ran across two lanes of traffic and off up the embankment and was gone. By the time I get there, just outside Coventry on the A45, the cars have been towed off and there they are outside a garage, with only the clothes they are standing up in and one Dog less than they should have. We search as long as we can then sadly head to Bristol and A&E for Mum who is hurt, she wouldn’t go in the ambulance whilst the Dog could be found.

I work with intuition, why don’t I just know where the Dog is? Firstly when you are in that kind of ‘fight or flight’ state of mind, you’re not in your intuitive mind. I need to be still. In bed I see her, under a bush in a wooded area, licking her paws. Looking on a map, the area is full of woodland. The next day we spend time sending out for help on the internet, print posters and go back to Coventry and search.

The next day we get a crank call from one of the posters. Again you want to believe it, so you jump to in, into the car. Part way up the motorway, intuition kicks in as I’m still and my gut shifts into dread. I ask my Mum to call them back. She says a strange opening line ‘do you still have the Dog?’ ‘No, someone has kidnapped it’. We turn the car around, knowing it’s a non-sense.
Monday, there are sightings of her and calls. I stay at home manning the phone and the internet. But no-one can catch her. Lottie is so scared she won’t let anyone near her. One man grabs her collar, she wriggles out of it and he is left holding it, which he presents to my Mum when she arrives minutes too late.
Tuesday I go with Mum, more posters in all the areas she was spotted within a two mile area of the crash site. Mum has scented an area she was spotted a few times, don’t worry this wasn’t a case of Mum cocking her leg against a tree; she took some of Lottie’s bedding and dragged it around in a circle over the grass. It’s a wooded area she has been spotted in. We go to get more posters printed, than we get the call, from a postman. We ask him not to go near the Dog and he keeps a good eye on her at a good distance. Lottie is in someone’s garden 100 yards away from where Mum was scenting.

As we pull up, I just want to run to her, but at this stage it’s likely she will just see us as more people trying to catch her. Dog’s work on smell to recognise and we must let her somehow come to us. Jake the other dog, is walking around, she watches him, but doesn’t move. So we start to walk away, she gets up and limps towards Jake. As she walks past my Mum to get to Jake she sniffs my Mum’s leg and the recognition hits her, she almost collapses with excitement and relief.
We had such help from local people, Julie the dog warden, Polly from Pet search, the police, local vets and people tweeting including Colin Baker (Doctor Who), the local radio which made me cry on air!
We are so grateful.
You don’t know why things happen at the time. I was meant to be in London that Friday. But the clients coming over from the US missed their flights. I know what happened has created a profound shift for everyone involved. It also proved to me something I have been saying for a long time about intuition and searching for anything missing, even missing children. You can see details, such as I knew Lottie was in a wooded area, I knew she had problems with her paws, I knew to fill my car with fuel for an unknown reason, I knew it would be a poster that would cause the call to make us find her and I was damn determined we would get her back. Even though she was moving around, I still couldn’t drive the car right up to where she was. People believe if you’re intuitive you should be able to do just that. To me that kind of ‘super power’ has been over exaggerated by people who are deluded enough to believe it, or by people who want to make money from vulnerable people.
Major personal trauma, can jump you into a place of awakening, where you become acutely intuitively aware. It feels like you’re living in a cartoon. Even though you might be in a desperate or life threatening situation, you feel like you are in flow with everything that is happening and can make clear decisions. But mostly fear doesn’t give you that kind of awareness.
What found Lottie was – intuition, logic, determination, hard work but most of all love and the kindness of strangers.