The Creative Power of Animals. The Authors Collection.


We’ve all heard of how animals can help the sick recover. And there are those amazing dogs that can detect a change in the blood sugar level of a diabetic.

Some years ago, I witnessed the way an animal could heal a young patient.

We will never know what really happened. The only story we got was from the accused, so whether Jamie pushed Kelly off the porch or she did indeed just jump off, or whether the accident really occurred on the trampoline, we may never know.  But her leg hurt. And when you touched it, she cried.  So, off we went to the doctor to discover that two year old Kelly had a broken leg. And the good children’s orthopedic doctor put a tiny cast on it.

James R. Callan
James R. Callan

That evening, Kelly would not take a single step on the walking cast.  Maybe her leg was not set properly or the cast was not applied correctly. Our perfect (until now) daughter was going to be deformed.  The mother felt far worse than the patient.

That problem was solved the next morning when we discovered Kelly in the back yard, jumping on the trampoline – in her cast, of course – Jamie cheering her on.

Four weeks later, the cast was removed.  Once home, Kelly hopped off the seat of the car onto the floor and immediately began to cry.  Her mother carried her into the house, trying to console her, but Kelly was not to be consoled. She would not walk, nor put any weight on the (formerly) broken leg.

I was teaching when the principal came to my room to tell me I had an emergency phone call. I took the call and found Kelly had broken her leg again!  She would not take so much as a step on it, even when offered the ultimate incentive, a Dr Pepper. (She was only given that “adult” drink on very special occasions.)

I agreed to meet mother and daughter at the orthopedic doctor’s office.

ATonOfGold-3dLeftSure enough, Kelly could not tolerate even the slightest touch to the broken leg. The mere idea brought a determined shake of the head.  Back off.  We sat in chairs and Kelly sat on the examining table, waiting for the doctor.

Now, the good doctor specialized in kids’ broken bones, and often had some small toy or animal for the young patient. This day, when he walked in, he had a little giraffe, complete with a tiny cast on one of its legs, hanging out of his pocket.  It was cute, I must admit, and it certainly caught my attention.

It caught Kelly’s attention also. She yelped with delight, hopped off the table and ran over to the doctor to grab the giraffe.  So much for her broken leg.

The doctor explained that it was not uncommon for a child to jump on a recently healed leg bone, feel a twinge at the previous break point and believe it was broken again.

The giraffe clearly had cured her – of her apprehension, if not a broken leg.

Please click the book cover image to read more about James R. Callan and his novels.


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