Dogs frequently form warm friendships, and help each other in time of trouble.

Two dogs belonging to the same owner had become great friends. Ponto and Dick, we will call them, though I am not quite certain as to their names. Ponto’s leg being broken, he was kept a close prisoner. His friend Dick, instead of whining out a few commonplace expressions of sympathy,—“Dear me, I’m so sorry; well, I hope you will soon get better,” and then scampering off to amuse himself with other dogs in the village, or to run after the cows, or to go out hunting,—came and sat down by his side, showing him every mark of attention. Then, after a time, Dick started up, exclaiming,—“Ponto, I am sure you must be hungry; it is dull work for you lying there with nothing to do.” Without waiting for Ponto to beg that he would not trouble himself, off he set, and soon brought back a nice bone with plenty of gristle on it. “There, old fellow, munch away—it will amuse you,” he remarked, putting his prize down under his friend’s nose.

After watching complacently as poor Ponto gnawed away with somewhat languid jaws, till the bone was scraped almost clean, he again set out in search of another. After he had brought in several, he lay down as before by his friend’s side, just playing with one of the bones to keep him company. Thus day after day Dick continued to cheer and comfort his injured friend with unfailing constancy till he completely recovered.

When dogs thus exhibit disinterested kindness and self-sacrifice, how ought human beings to behave to those suffering from pain or sorrow? When tempted to run off and amuse yourself, leaving a sick friend at home, remember these two dogs. Think of how much suffering there is in the world, and what room there is for kindness and compassion; and can you then be hard-hearted, or indifferent to the sufferings of others?