A ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound, Belker, was so ill that his family and his veterinarian agreed it was more humane to put him down. For the learning experience, including closure, the family’s six-year-old boy was invited to be there.
After the beloved family pet passed, the teary-eyed vocalizations of grief naturally included a disappointment with the fact that dogs’ lives are shorter than humans’.
To which the youngster then said, “I know why.”
Everyone of course turned to him.
“We’re born so we can learn how to love everybody all the time and be nice. Belker already knew how to do that.”
That inspired the vet to make the following observations.
When your dog is your teacher you learn things like:
When loved ones come home, always run to greet them;
Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride;
Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure Ecstasy;
Stretch before rising;
Run, romp, and play daily;
Thrive on attention and let people touch you;
Avoid biting when a simple growl will do;
On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass;
On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree;
When you’re happy, dance around and wag your entire body;
Delight in the simple joy of a long walk;
Never pretend to be something you’re not;
If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it;
When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently;
Not everyone gets the privilege of growing old.