In the past few weeks, the quaint city of Capoeiras, Brazil, has been bustling with holiday festivities — adorning streets with ribbons, stringing up lights, and assembling a delightful nativity scene in the town’s central square. Their early preparations turned out to be quite fortuitous.
In some respects, Christmas arrived a bit ahead of schedule this year.
On a balmy summer morning, Junior Almeida, a local of the town, was strolling through the square when he spotted an unusual detail in the nativity scene.
Unexpectedly, the manger at the heart of the display, which is traditionally left vacant until Christmas, was filled.
Approaching for a closer examination, Almeida realized the manger’s occupant wasn’t a porcelain figure mistakenly placed too soon. The occupant radiated a gentle, angelic aura.
It was a lovely dog, who had selected the manger as her resting spot.
Almeida wasn’t upset by this unexpected visitor. In his eyes, she was no intruder.
“God is present in all things and beings — including animals,” Almeida shared with The Dodo.
While Almeida first thought the dog might be a homeless stray, he soon discovered that she, much like the manger’s famous resident, also enjoyed the benevolence of others.
“Her name is Caramelo,” Almeida revealed. “She resides near a restaurant in the square and receives food and care from community members.”
The exact background of Caramelo is somewhat of a mystery, but Almeida suspects she may have been left in the square in the past. If that’s the case, her presence in the modest nativity scene is even more fitting.
AD The kindness of strangers has mitigated her hardships, fostering hope — and blossoming into a narrative truly worth celebrating.