One of the things that I enjoy reading the most are stories which involves the actions, thoughts or words of children. Today’s story is a prime example of the kind of story I am talking about. The following story was told by a veterinarian…
Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolkhound 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 the six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn 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 his old friend for the last time and I wondered if he really understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belkin slipped peacefully away.
The little boy seemed to accept Belker’s transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belkin’s death, wondering aloud ab out the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives.
Shane, would 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 six-year-old continued, “Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay as long.”