From Chicken Soup for the Soul Daily Inspirations for Women

January 18

As I prepared to euthanize the black Labrador retriever, dying of distemper, the dog, with great and deliberate effort, slowly lifted her head so that she could look into my eyes. She was not ready to die.

I placed a small bowl of milk under the dog’s nose, but she showed no interest in it. I tried again later, and this time she lifted her head and slowly drank. Every few hours I fed her, and the dog’s strength gradually returned. When no neurological damage had manifested, I knew my patient was out of danger.

I named her Silky and decided to adopt her. I took her home and was surprised to see her climb onto the bed. When I went to pull her off, she growled and tried to attack me.

Clearly she had been mistreated, and she wanted to know whether I would bully her. Communicating the way I believe animals do—through thoughts and emotions— I held to loving thoughts and images in my mind.

I took her collar and, without hesitation, she jumped down from the bed. Silky has now grown quite old. I’m glad that, years ago, I had the wisdom to pass her test.

Christine Townsend

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