My mother also has a spirit animal story. She was babysitting my sisters 2 children, one an infant and the other a toddler. The infant was about 4mos. old, I think and was in the crib that all us kids had used. Mom fell asleep on the couch, and was awakened by our family dog, who kept bumping her with his head and nose and pawing at her. She woke up slightly, patted him on the head and then the dog took off down the hallway towards the room w/the kids. It was then mom realized that dog was our old deceased dog who had been dead for many years. (while I was still in school!) She ran down the hall to find that my infant nephew had pushed his head under the bumper pad and through the railings of that crib, (which was actually considered 'unsafe' for the times) and could've easily killed him, had he continued to fall through. The 'SPIRIT' dog (our beloved pet from years before) had saved the day and my nephew. he does btw, continue to show himself to us all and keeps a watchful eye over us.
I can't express enough how heartwarming this story is to me! I love animals, and I'm also still dealing with the Dec. 1st loss of my incredibly devoted best friend/cat. Stories about such devoted animals just give me a wonderful feeling that defies explanation! Thanks for sharing!