This is a story of a nine-year-old boy and a veterinarian. Dr. Julie 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.
Dr. Julie examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. She told the family she couldn’t do anything else for Belker, and when they were ready, offered to perform the euthanasia procedure in their home.
As they made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told her 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, as Belker’s family surrounded their beloved pet, Shane seemed very calm, petting his very first dog for the last time, Dr. Julie wondered if the young boy understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.
Shane 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 sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives.
Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, ‘’I know why.’’ Startled, they all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned everyone. Even Dr. Julie had never heard a more comforting explanation. The little boy 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? Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay as long.’’

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