Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Why Dogs Don't Live As Long As People

I got this as an email. (Lately I have been getting good ones!)

Why Dogs Don't Live As Long As People
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 much
attached to Belker and they were hoping for a miracle.

I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the
family there were no miracles left 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 the four-year-old Shane to observe the procedure.
They felt as though Shane might learn something from the

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 four-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.

~Author Unknown~


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