When I selected my puppy, Rocky, many years ago, I chose the cheerful butterball who was pouncing on his litter-mates. Seeing that energy, I imagined romps in the yard and jogs around the neighborhood. I didn't realize that caring for both Rocky, and my cat, Jack, would provide a testing ground for spiritual truths.

When Rocky was just a puppy, he became very sick, unable to eat or drink. Having practiced Christian Science all my life, I had learned to pray for myself for healing, but I wasn't sure I knew how to do this for a pet. So I visited a veterinarian who diagnosed Rocky with Parvo, considered to be a contagious and normally fatal canine sickness. Since there was no medicine available to treat the problem, the vet said that Rocky's chances of survival were slim. If he did manage to recover, it would be days or weeks before his health would improve. On top of that, Rocky had to remain in isolation at the clinic to prevent the spread of the disease.

As I left Rocky, who was unable to even lift his head or wag his tail, I was devastated. I called a Christian Science practitioner who emphatically told me that my puppy was a creation of God and could not have anything less than good. She then reminded me that "a spiritual idea has not a single element of error, and this truth removes properly whatever is offensive" (Science and Health, p. 463). I was relieved to hear this clear statement of truth applied to my puppy.

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August 10, 2009

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