a long time ago, in the all-too-near past,

a lone foundling dog

with an ASPCA patch

went into the hospital to visit those whom no one was visiting…

to touch those who were thought untouchable.

They had AIDS.

and in their last days they found comfort in the fur of a friend –

and i found a lifework.


One memorable visit, we showed up at our usual time –

no one had bothered to drop a dime,

and all 19 beds were empty.

The dog went to every single room, as if to say, in some requiem way,

You were loved, You were honored, You mattered.

He would not leave until he had checked each bed.

Today is World AIDS Day.

a day of remembrance and renewed hope –

new drugs offer new hope and still shame and myths exist all over the globe.

but my message is this:

remember to love – to love everyone the best we can –

to comfort all those whose path you cross,

and allow them to comfort you,

to touch and be touched


every day.

if not you, who?


About eteal

Reverend Teal is a minister, chaplain, artist and storyteller. She specializes in the human-animal bond and all its healing aspects.
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