A dog’s purpose and from the mouth of babes

A friend sent me this and though I do not know the author, I feel the short story is heart-warming and the reminders are very important for us all. Hope you enjoy!
A Dog’s Purpose? (from a 6-year-old).

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.

My puppy thinks everyone should nap – this was taken a couple of months ago….look
who I caught on the bed!

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10 Responses to “A dog’s purpose and from the mouth of babes”

  1. Noturus Says:

    Great post. Dogs are amazing creatures, and yours is very cute there on the bed.

  2. Chuck Says:

    Nice piece Marsha.

    Not too long ago I found a great rack of postcards in an art gallery in Carmel CA. One of them had an impressionist painting of two dogs engaged in mutual fanny sniffing. The caption below the picture read:

    “Dogs are just people – without shame.”

    Funny but thought provoking…


  3. Marsha J. O'Brien Says:

    Noturus dogs are amazing creatures for sure, and so unconditional with their love and loyalty. I check out your site and I will be back for more!

  4. Marsha J. O'Brien Says:

    Hey Chuck – I would love to have been in that gallery in Carmel! I love to cruise an art gallery and I love Carmel. Does Carmel still have that beautiful eighteen mile cruise on the coast?

    I have to laugh at the impressionist painter’s caption. My best girlfriend and I walk our dogs together- her’s is a Doberman and mine a Rottie. We were just commenting (and laughing) last week about what a relief we don’t greet each other in that very same manner! Too funny!

    • Chuck Says:

      I have not been there in a couple of years, but it is a beautiful as ever. Big Sur is one of my favorite places on Earth.

  5. Marsha J. O'Brien Says:

    Ahh, mine too – where the forest and hills meet the ocean. A wonderful place. I bet it’s been more than a couple of years for me.

  6. raeder Says:

    What a great story. Children have such innocence that when it touches our lives, it is a true blessing.

    You have a beautiful puppy!

  7. Marsha J. O'Brien Says:

    Thank you. I was so pleased I could share it with you. We love our puppy, though she is 100 pounds at 10 months – she still gets that “puppy look” and is full of fun and mischief.

    I think all prospective parents should have a dog first. They teach us so much about love and patience and even loss when the time comes.

    Have a wonderful day!

  8. shayne Says:

    What a cute photo!

  9. Marsha Says:

    Thanks! She was a sleepy puppy there.

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