It took me over a month to finish this post. Every time I tried to finish it, I had to stop to wipe my tears. I think it’s now ready as it will ever be…
You’ve probably read the viral online story entitled “A Dog’s Purpose: According to a 6 year old.” If you haven’t, I’ve copied and pasted it below. As an animal lover, a dog lover, get your tissues ready and read this short story:
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.”
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.
Falling down is part of LIFE…
Getting back up is LIVING…
This reminded me of the book, A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron, a story about a dog that reincarnates after discovering its purpose for each life. The one “life” that really stuck out to me was when the dog was slipping away at the vet but fought to stay alive to wait for the little boy he grew up with, who is now an adult, to come say goodbye before he passed. Coincidentally, as soon as my husband and I found out one of our pups was ill while we were on our trip out west, I was reminded of this story and hoped for a miracle she would be able to wait for us to see her.
Thankfully, she held on and we were able to spend the last few days together at home. It’s a curse being an animal lover, you know the end day will come but you will never be ready for it.
For those of you that don’t know, my husband and I met at a dog park in front of the condo where we both used to live. He had a 4-year-old Golden Retriever named Rory and I had wee little 2-month-old Bowser. It was an early weekday morning in the summer of 2008, and we were the only ones at the park. Bowser immediately started playing with Rory, and when I looked up at her dashing owner, it was then that I experienced love at first sight. Everything changed after that day, and it was all thanks to our furry ones. I love telling this story because it’s pretty much straight from a movie, and people always gush about how romantical it is (and I secretly love it).
The two pups were inseparable, we also had two kitties and everyone got along really well. Rory was always the reliable, calm one, which balanced Bowser’s crazy wild side. She loved swimming and would always be ready to fetch her frisbee. She was a homebody like me and Avery, her favourite spot in the house was the on the living room couch. She’d always sleep by your feet and would snuggle whenever you needed it. What I miss the most is how she would let the baby climb all over her, and she wouldn’t flinch if she tugged her ears. I’m glad her and Madeline had some time together.
Rory was just two days shy of her 9th birthday, and I’m happy to say she had an amazing, loving and fun life. She spent her last week running and playing in the snow trails up north with her brother and cousin. Avery and I are forever thankful that she helped bring us together.
Give your furry ones a great, big hug for me.