Sorry guys, this story is going to be a bit of a tear jerker, but I personally found it brought things into perspective for me and hope it does the same for you.
A close veterinary colleague of mine recently drew my attention to an experience shared by a fellow Veterinarian, who was called to examine a geriatric dog one day. Belker was the dog’s name, a 10-year-old Irish Wolfhound, owned by a lovely couple, Ron and Lisa, and their 6yr old son Shane.
Sadly, on examination, the Vet found Belker to be dying of cancer, and with no options for treatment or palliative care, suggested euthanasia was probably the best way to go. Lisa and Ron were obviously very emotional, and deeply attached to Belker, but agreed that their Veterinarian was right, and made arrangements to have him put down in the comfort of their family home the following day.
In making the arrangements, Ron and Lisa decided it may be good for Shane to be there and have an opportunity to say goodbye, and thought he may learn something from the experience. Remember, Belker had been in Shane’s life since he was born, they were like peas in a pod.
The following day, the Vet arrived at the family home, and with Ron, Lisa and Shane comforting Belker and saying their final goodbyes, he peacefully performed the euthanasia. The Vet noticed that whilst Ron and Lisa were obviously upset, Shane was very calm, gently petting Belker as he passed away. He was so composed, that the Vet was unsure whether he was entirely aware of what was going on.
After the euthanasia, the group sat together, and openly discussed the sad fact that animal’s lives are shorter than human lives. At this point, Shane piped up, and said, “I know why?” What came out of his mouth next, is the most comforting explanation I’ve ever heard.
He said the following, “People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life – like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?”
He paused, then continued, “Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay as long”
Honestly, this story just made my day. Choose the lessons you want to learn from this, whether it’s to always strive to love and live a good life, whether it’s to always look at experiences in a positive light, whether it’s to try to look at life through the eyes of a 6-year-old! Take what you want from this, I just thought it was worth sharing.
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