A Dog’s Purpose

Ok, this post might be a little cheesy, but I thought this story (forwarded to me via email) was so adorable and had such a great message, I just had to share it with you guys. I know the dog lovers will especially enjoy it.

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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, Ron, 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 away.

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 comforting explanation. It has changed the way I try and live.

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.”

Live simply.

Love generously.

Care deeply.

Speak kindly.

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.
  • Take naps.
  • 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.
  • Be loyal.
  • Never pretend to be something you’re not.
  • If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
  • When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.

There comes a time in life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh, forget the bad, and focus on the good. So, love the people who treat you right. Think good thoughts for the ones who don’t. Life is too short to be anything but happy.

102 Comments

  1. I’ve recently started to read your blog! It is great 🙂

    This was a great post! We had to put my german shepard down in October and it was such a difficult thing to do. A family friends just had to put her westie down on Valentines Day, he was 14. I’m send this to her! Dogs (or any pets) are family members and having to say goodbye is the worse thing ever.

  2. What a heartwarming story at this time when we need it most. Maybe I do need a dog. Or maybe I’ll just learn from my grandpug.

  3. Thanks for sharing.. this is beautiful and so touching. That little boy is smarter than most of us.. love his logic!

  4. This post was of particularly special timing. Three years ago today I watched my big baby dog, Liam, slip away. He was a beautiful Bernese mountain dog and I still miss him terribly, but this story gives me a lot of comfort. Thank you so much (and go hug that cute little Murphy).

  5. So touching & true!
    Tina, when are you bringing back the Dog Blog’s? I alwayss loved seeing them every once in a while.

  6. I walk out the door for one reason or another … come back after a minute and a half of being right outside my house … Dante’s reaction … as if he had not seen me for days … he fills my day with pure happiness …

    This is my Facebook from his bday … pretty much sums it all up:

    A year ago today … we were fortunate to have our Dante join our family … Dante … thank you for my not so white couches (at least not white anymore) thank you for 6 AM wake up calls … Saturdays and Sundays included … thank you for keeping me in shape chasing you to retrieve yet another sock … but mostly thank you for bringing such joy to our lives … your mom (A.K.A. crazy dog lady) .

    I love my doggy and Murphy is not half bad!

  7. Bawling at my desk like a tiny baby. Thanks for sharing this! I am going to go home and give everyone…including my stinky dog a big juicy kiss! Have a great weekend!

  8. I’ve read that several times before, but it always makes me cry! Not a great thing when I’m at my desk at work right now, but oh well! 😉

  9. This made me cry like a baby and couldn’t have come at a better time. We had to put down our dear family dog, Roxy, on Monday due to cancer so this hits very close to home!! She was a definition of loyalty and love and is now sharing all that love up in heaven with all of our dear loved ones who have left us too eary! Great post!!

  10. What a beautiful post – quite a smart young boy! hits home for anyone who has ever had to euthanize a furry friend (my 20 year old cat passed away almost 2 years ago) but this story makes me feel a little better…thanks.

  11. I am speechless [too soft? oh well, it was so sweet]… After getting our puppy last month I have really grown an appreciation for his unconditional love. No matter what kind of day I’ve had I know that he’ll anxiously be waiting for me with lots of kisses when I get home 🙂

    P.S. Just another example of why dogs > cats [hehe]!

  12. That totally brought tears to my eye.

    Growing up my family had lots of dogs (labrador retrievers), usually around 7 at a time. (Don’t worry, we had a big house and tons of land, they lived like royalty). It was always so sad when one would get old or sick and you could see them slipping away. They are such amazing animals and I can’t wait till I have a house so I can have one of my own.

  13. Awww, I love this! I often think a lot of these things when I watch my dog. His heart is just golden to the core and he loves and enjoys life. I learn from him…

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