I would first like to say that never in my life had I given much thought to the idea of "spirit animals/guides" until I had a truly unique experience one night... I live in a very rural area and have spent most of my life hunting. I am 1/4 native American and have always shared the values of hunting only for food and respecting/thanking each animal I have ever taken. One evening I was several miles deep in the woods scouting for an area to hunt deer and it was beginning to get dark. I knew it would be completely dark long before I made it out of the woods but I was in no way worried, as I had hunted these woods since I was 3 with my grandfather and knew exactly where I was going even with no moonlight. I did have a small flashlight, however, it was nearly dead and I decided not to turn it on unless I absolutely had to.
As I slowly made my way home enjoying the cool night air, I became almost certain I was hearing footsteps behind me and fairly close, but each time I stopped to listen the footsteps would stop too. At first I thought it was the darkness playing tricks on me but after a few more minutes I knew there was definitely something behind me...
I decided to turn on the flashlight and when I turned around I was shocked to see a beautiful silver fox standing less than 10 feet behind me. I've seen a few of these before but they are fairly rare and I've never even heard of one coming this close to a human. At first I thought maybe it had rabies and, as I was in no mood to be bitten and had no idea what its intentions were, I slowly drew my hunting knife to be safe. However, I actually began to feel very peaceful as I looked into the eyes of this animal, and at that point I knew without a doubt it meant me no harm. The whole event seemed like it lasted forever, when in reality we probably stood there looking at each other for 30-45 seconds. As the thought crossed my mind to put my knife away the fox slowly turned around and walked into the darkness, neither of of scared of the other.
I stood there another minute and thought about what had just happened, then turned my light off and continued home. I haven't seen another fox since that night a few years ago but I think about it often and can't help wondering if stories like these are what led the native americans to believe in spirit animals... It certainly convinced me.