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Elegant Greyhound walks calmly along the gleaming white corridor of a hospital ward beside her owner as nurses, doctors, and family members hurry past. Her sleek brindle coat gleams in the fluorescent light and her neatly clipped toenails click on the tile floor like high-heeled shoes. Progress is slow, because every few steps someone stops to admire the big dog or ask her name. Each time this happens, her tail wags slowly and she stands patiently while a busy nurse or housekeeper pats her gently on top of her long, narrow head. Finally, the dog’s owner knocks softly on the door of a patient’s room. Nurses have told the dog’s owner that the patient is an elderly man who has suffered a stroke that has left him partially paralyzed. Without hesitation, the dog and her owner approach the man’s bed, where he lies propped up on pillows, staring blankly into space. “Mr. Johnson?” says the woman with the dog. “This is Molly. Would you like to visit with her?” The man turns toward the woman and the dog, smiles faintly, and nods his head. Molly’s owner speaks softly to the dog, and the animal walks straight to Mr. Johnson’s bedside. At first, the man seems confused, but then Molly gently lays her big head on his shoulder and half-closes her eyes. Mr. Johnson reaches out and begins softly stroking the dog’s head. In a moment, he is running his wrinkled hand all the way down Molly’s long back, even lifting himself slightly out of the bed to reach the tip of her tail. He tries to speak, but the words come out garbled. Still, the smile on his face and the tears welling in his eyes show clearly that petting Molly is a very emo- tional experience. After a few minutes, the man is starting to get tired. Molly gives him a soft dog kiss on his chin, and her owner says good-bye, promising to return next week if the man is still in the hospital. Mr. Johnson is already sleeping peace- fully by the time the woman with the dog taps softly on the door of the next patient’s room.

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