Reminds me of watching my dog in the back yard one time. He was brown/white and had his back turned to the fence. A young doe jumped the fence and started to approach Sam, had his white tail up. She must have thought it was a fawn. Same turned around and it was a race to the fence, the doe won.
What a wonderful Christmas story. I am so glad he came home and was OK, I can only imagine how awful your friend must have felt, thinking he was lost, injured and freezing. Nice to hear a really great happy ending.