Why dog’s don’t live as long

10 Jan

This is a little story that has been circling the internet for years now, but no matter how many times i read it, i always get the same feeling.

“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 there were no miracles left 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 four-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They
felt Shane could 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

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, “Everybody is born so that they can
learn how to live a good life — like loving everybody and being
nice, right?” The four-year-old continued, “Well, animals already
know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay as long.””


I love this story and how the innocence of a child is able to make the death of a beloved family pet seem somehow beautiful. Whether it is a true story or not, it doesn’t matter, the message is the same. We love our pets as though they are our children, important members of the family, and it is never easy when we have to say goodbye to them, but this story (to me anyway) gives some comfort.

*Neither the story or the picture is my own, both found on google*


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