He was hours from death. He could not stand. He was weak from starvation. His skin was so infected that it ​was ​falling off. As Sonya’s husband sped them down the interstate, she sat in the back with Woody, hand feeding him. He gobbled every bite until she decided to touch him. Sonya knew he was contagious and deathly ill but felt the urge to reach out and stroke his bloody, crusty hairless body.

What happened next, Sonya will never forget. He turned his head away from the ​food​ and with every ounce of energy left in his body, he scooted closer to her. Woody chose a loving touch over life sustaining food. The lesson Sonya learned​ is that the loving touch fueled Woody’s will to live, not ​food​. Woody and Sonya are madly in love with other. He recovered beyond medical expectations. He greets her every day with a smile in eyes and love that penetrates my soul. Sonya says: “I know our bond is spiritual. I know that his love for me is because I dared to touch him when all others had shooed and kicked him away. I was his first loving touch. I know he loves me for being a vessel of hope.”