According to this snippet from a biography of worthy women, Florence Nightingale showed her healing instincts early. . .
. . .Florence Nightingale's great work began with her great heart. Even as a child, she could not bear to see people or animals suffer, and a pretty story is told of her saving "Cap," a faithful old sheep dog whose leg was broken. As he was useless he was about to be hung, when Florence interceded with the herder, went for the vicar, who said the leg was not broken, only bruised, and began treatment immediately.
She took off her red flannel petticoat and tore it into strips, bandaged the leg tightly, and fomented it steadily with hot water until poor Cap's sufferings were measurably relieved. She attended him faithfully until he was well and found her reward in the old dog's lifelong gratitude. Even when he was on duty, guarding the sheep, and could not leave his post, he never failed to recognise her by an eager whine and joyous waggings of his tail.
- from: Reed, M. (1913). Happy women. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons. 106-7.