Soon little Sammy was back with his mom, safe and sound, and not about to go wandering off on his own again. And I was back home with Linda, talking about what had happened.

“Honey, how long did you say that van had been on the side of the highway before you came along?”

“No more than a minute.”

“And the lady had already found the gas switch by the time you stopped, so she wouldn’t have been there if you’d come by one minute later?”

“Nope.”

“And if she’d stopped just a little bit farther down the highway, do you think you would have noticed those dogs?” I could see where Linda was going. “I’m sure I wouldn’t have,” I said. The timing necessary for me to spot those dogs was just way too precise to be mere coincidence. Strangest of all was that hunch I’d had to get back on patrol in the first place, almost as if someone were telling me what to do.

Our local paper ran a story about the unlikely series of events that led to me finding Sammy. It began: “Mary Dyer doesn’t doubt that her son has a guardian angel looking over his shoulder.”

These days, when I get to feeling a little lonely on the job, or when I get one of those funny hunches out of the blue, I’ll remember those words. I don’t doubt that Sammy’s mom was right. Young Sammy does have a guardian angel looking over his shoulder. And I have a hunch I just might have one too.