The Wisdom of a 4-year old or A Dog’s Purpose

Our friend FreedomKat on MyDogSpace, posted a retelling of this story.  It is just so darn heartwarming that I had to share it.  No credit is due me for this one, I’m just passing along a “feel good” tale, or is it tail?

The story comes originally from an unknown veterinarian, who had been called on to examine a 10-year old Irish Wolfhound named Belker.  Unfortunately for Belker, it turned out that he had cancer and that nothing more could be done for the poor dog.  The owner and his wife, along with their 4-year old son Shane were present for the euthanasia.  The parents felt that Shane might learn from the experience.  But knowledge doesn’t always flow the way we think it will.


An Irish Wolfhound - not Belker

An Irish Wolfhound - not Belker



As the vet prepared for the procedure, the little boy seemed very calm.  He petted his old pal Belker.  The vet wondered if the young boy 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.  They all sat together for a while after Belker’s death, wondering aloud about the hard fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives. Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, “I know why.”

Startled, the adults all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next was simply stunning. It is one of the most comforting things that I’ve ever heard. Young Shane 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.”

I hope that you will remember the wisdom of this little boy, and his very concise explanation of the dog’s purpose, when the time comes that you need it.


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