A Dog's Purpose (from a 6-year-old's perspective)
As a veterinarian, I was called to examine a ten-year-old Irish
Wolfhound named Belker. The dog's owners Ron, his wife Linda and
their little boy Shane, were all very attached to Belker. They
were hoping for a miracle..
I examined Belker and found he was dying. I told the family we
couldn't do anything for Belker. I offered to perform the
euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.
As we made arrangements, Ron and Linda 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.
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."