I have a co-worker who left work early yesterday to tend to the needs of her 15 year-old dog, Ziggy.
Ziggy has not been doing well for the past several months. During the past week or so it seemed that he was coming around and was having some really good days and was acting like a puppy. My co-worker was hopeful that he would be around for a little bit longer.
Yesterday morning as she was getting ready for work she noticed that Ziggy didn't even try to get up to go eat. He responded to her speaking to him; but she knew he was not doing well at all. She left for work with deep concern.
She called the vet in the morning and made an appointment to bring Ziggy in.
A couple hours after she had left for the day she had called in and reported that when she arrived home she found Gio the other puppy laying quietly at Ziggy's feet. Gio looked up at my co-worker and he seemed sad. Ziggy was taken to the vet's office and there was nothing that could be done. Ziggy was put to sleep yesterday afternoon.
The simple image of the younger puppy remaining with the older puppy stuck with me and I realized that even Heavenly Father's creatures understand charity; compassion and love.
My mind reflected back on my sister, Emily, when she was a child. She was the perfect example of unconditional love towards her brothers and sisters. One time my brother, Christopher, had cut himself. Emily ran to the linen closet to retrieve a wash cloth and then moistened it in the bathroom sink as she looked for a bandaid. Emily cleansed the wound and bound it for Christopher.
The Savior taught many stories through parables and one that touches me deeply is the parable of the good Samaritan. The purpose of this parable was to teach us to give to those in need, regardless of whether they are our friends or not.
Charity can be described as one of the most powerful attributes we can hope to attain. The life of the Savior is an example of charity - even to the giving of his own life. Before He gave His life He said:
"This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." - John 15:12-13
Each day we have opportunities to show compassion and love to those we come in contact with. We do not know what others may be going through; yet we can show forth kindness with a smile.