The following story shows us that children can be wise beyond their years. And hopefully you’ll see the death of pets in a more comforting light after this…
Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish wolfhound named Belker. The dogs 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 couldnt 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 Belkers 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 Belkers transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belkers death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives.
Lisa said, “I just don’t understand why they have to live such short lives compared to us.”
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. Id 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 six-year-old continued, Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they dont have to stay as long…