Ellen White did not like seeing someone mistreating an animal. She loved animals. Though we don’t have a written record of indoor pets in her home, we do know that when she lived in Australia, she had a dog with an impossibly long name—Tiglath-Pileser (a fierce king mentioned in the Bible). He may have had a similar personality as he was a watch dog. His name was so long that I wonder if they shortened it to Tig, or maybe they just whistled for him. Tiglath-Pileser had an interesting kennel. One side was higher than the other to stop the rainwater from flooding his house during a heavy downpour.
Mrs. White also had milk cows in Australia, but she refused to tie up their back legs when they were being milked as some would do to keep them from kicking over the milk pail. The neighbors couldn’t believe their eyes when her cows stood still and seemed happy to be milked! She tamed the cows by speaking to them softly and handling them gently instead of
Mrs. White spent a lot of time around horses. The only way to travel to some places was by horse and buggy. Once she had a vision where God directed her to select Charlie, a carriage horse. Imagine having a vision about an animal!
Charlie was a great help to Mrs. White and her husband on their many preaching trips. Apparently Charlie enjoyed the trips too—especially when the ripe apples were falling from the trees into the road. The Whites would free Charlie’s harness so he could snack on apples as he pulled their buggy. Animals must be important to God too.
It wasn’t just four-legged animals that Mrs. White enjoyed being with. She also had a bright little canary in the kitchen of her Elmshaven home. She loved hearing it sing.
Mrs. White believed that “animals see and hear and love and fear and suffer” (The Ministry of Healing, p. 315) and that it is our responsibility to treat animals with respect.
Think about how you respond to the animals around you. Are you treating them with kindness and respect?
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