Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Why Do Dogs Leave Earth First?

I don’t know who wrote this but it was given to me as a gift yesterday along with a beautiful framed photo. If you happen to know the author, please share.


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 that he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn’t do anything more 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 6 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. The young boy, 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 long while after Belker’s death, wondering aloud about he 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 ot 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 to 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 6 year old continued, “Well dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay as long.”


  1. Goosebumps. I have someone to share this with too. :-(

    1. I know! I felt them when I read it for the first time yesterday. I'm sad that you have someone to share this with because it doesn't feel very good at all.

  2. I did not expect to cry when I read this, but I've said goodbye to too many of my furry friends. This was bittersweet.

    1. Saying goodbye was very difficult and still is raw one week later. It was best, though.