>A Dog's Purpose, from a 4-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 four-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt >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 four-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 stuff such as: >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. >Eat with gusto and enthusiasm. Stop when you have had enough. >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.
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