This section of the book is from the "Stories of Animal Sagacity" book, by William Henry Giles Kingston.
Among the strange friendships existing between animals of different natures, I must mention one formed between a terrier and a bantam.
The little dog was suffering so severely from the distemper, that it was necessary to confine her to her kennel, which had open bars in front of it. A bantam-cock which lived in the yard, walking up and down, observed the poor little animal, and gazed at her with looks of deep compassion. At last he managed to squeeze himself through the bars. The terrier evidently understood his feelings, and from that day forward the bantam took up his abode in the dog’s prison—like a brave physician, fearless of catching the complaint of his patient—and seldom left it, except to pick up his daily food. When he did so, the dog became uneasy, whining till her friend returned.
The terrier became worse, and the bantam redoubled his attentions, and, for the purpose of warming the dog, took his place between her fore-legs; and then the poor little invalid settled down on the bird, apparently to enjoy the warmth afforded by his feathers. Thus, day after day was passed in the closest bonds of affection, till the terrier died of the disease from which she had been suffering. The bantam appeared inconsolable at the loss of his friend, and it was some time before he recovered his usual spirits.
Imitate that little bantam. You will find very many human beings, in lieu of sick terriers, to nurse. As willingly as the bird gave up pleasant amusements, so rouse yourself from sloth for their sakes.