A Dog's Purpose
Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a
ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. The dog's owners,
his wife Lisa, and their little boy Shane,
were all very attached to Belker, and they
were hoping for a miracle.
I examined Belker and found he was dying
of cancer. I told the family we couldn't do anything for
Belker, and offered to perform
the euthanasia procedure for the old dog
in their home.
As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa
told me they thought it would be good for
six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as
though Shane might learn
something from the experience.
The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker
's family surrounded him.
Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog
for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was
going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully
The little boy seemed to accept Belker's transition without
any difficulty or confusion.
We sat together for a while after Belker's
Death, wondering aloud about the sad fact
that animal lives are shorter than human lives. Shane, who had
been listening quietly, piped up, 'I know why.'
Startled, we all turned to him. What came
out of his mouth next stunned me. I'd never heard a more
He said, 'People are born so that they can learn how to live a
good Life -- like loving everybody all the time and being
nice, right?' The Six-year-old continued, 'Well, dogs
already know how to do that, so they don't
have to stay as long.'
So live like a dog:
Remember, if a dog was the teacher you
would learn things like:
When loved ones come home, always run
to greet them.
Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.
Allow the experience of fresh air and the
wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.
Stretch before rising.
Run, romp, and play daily.
Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
On warm days, stop to lie on your back
on the grass.
On hot days, drink lots of water and lie
under a shady tree.
When you're happy, dance around and
wag your entire body.
Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
Never pretend to be something you're not.
If what you want lies buried, dig until you
When someone is having a bad day, be
silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.