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.


  1. This is so sweet! My parents dog will be 15 in July and we love her dearly, but know she will only be with us for so long. I am forwarding this link to my mom so they can read and appreciate all the love and happiness Lucky has had through the years 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  2. Definitly the best read of the day for me. We have two dogs, a 6 year old beagle and a 6 week old Heinz 57 we just brought home. They bring so much joy to our home.

  3. Lovely! <3 It's true how dogs teach us so much. I miss owning a dog so much :/ This sort of reminded me of the book, 'The Tao of Pooh'. have you read it? It's sort of like an introduction to Taoism… but quite simply, it's all about living simply 😀

  4. Love this…my old maggie taught me so much in her 18 year long life! It was such a hard time when she passed – but looking back now she really did teach me so much and was always there for me in the good and bad times.

  5. OMG…I just read this at work and my eyes started tearing up immediately! I couldn’t agree more with that little kids wisdom. It makes my heart all warm and fuzzy and also sad because I only wish my dog could live forever 🙂

  6. I don’t have a dog, but this was still touching to read. I’m having an especially crappy day and going through an especially crappy time with an old friend, and that last paragraph kind of slapped me in the face (in a good way!) Thank you for sharing!

  7. This has just made tears stream down my face! Let me explain… My little dog of 17.5 years had to be put down last Sunday. It was absolutely heartbreaking, but this has just put a spin on it I didn’t think was possible. I miss him very much but this post has definitely eased the pain a little! So thank you – couldn’t have come at a better time x

  8. Thank you for sharing that touching story. It really hit home with me, my beloved cat of 11 years is dying. We haven’t made the decision to euthanize yet, the thought breaks m heart.

    If we could all be as compassionate and loving as an animal, the world would be a better place. I know I’ve definitely become a better person just by knowing Spike (my cat) he’s such a good friend.

  9. Thank you for posting this. I had to put down my 15 year old boston terrier this past December, and it was (and continues to be) heartbreaking. I miss him so much every day.

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