Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Dog's Purpose

Author's note: The following was sent to me by my friend and blog reader Jeanne Rejaunier. Unfortunately, Google only let's me upload 5 photos - so if you want to see the rest send me an email, and I'll send them to you. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

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 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 six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might 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 confusion. 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, '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.'

Live simply. Love generously.
Care deeply.

Speak kindly.

Remember, if a dog was the teacher you would learn things like:

When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.

Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joy-ride.

Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure Ecstasy.

Take naps.

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.

Be loyal.

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


  1. This is great!

    My half standard poodle and half cocker spaniel, Sam Gamgee, wishes to add the following:

    "Be open to new experiences. In some cultures, snails are a delicacy. I prefer them raw.

    What's mine is yours and what's yours is mine. You're welcome to chew on my rubber toys, and I'm welcome to your lamb shank as soon as your back is turned.

    TV rots your mind. That's why I sit in front of it, for your own good.

    Classic literature is nourishing. When I was a puppy I found your antique volume of Poe especially tasty.

    Love thy neighbour. Try to shag his leg when he visits.

    Thou shalt have no other dogs before me."

    And as I've turned Sam on to Parliament Funkadelic, here's his favourite song:


  2. PS, let’s not forget Snoopy’s “dogfight” with the Red Baron: http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=rNremK0cBEg

    Some years ago, an astrologer suggested “Snoopy probably has an afflicted Neptune”, because hard aspects to Neptune indicate dwelling in fantasy.

    So let’s take a look. I’ve just googled for Snoopy’s first appearance. He was “born” on October 4, 1950. Let’s look at his planets:

    Ah, yes he DOES have an afflicted Neptune! He has sun in Libra, conjunct Neptune, both square a conjunction of Moon and Uranus in cancer. Uranus rules aviation, and moon-conj-uranus is a frequent indicator of clinical schizophrenia (this has been proved statistically.)
    His moon in cancer, conj Uranus, correlates with his eccentric obsession with his dinner dish, and of course his doghouse.

    And it gets even better: When Snoopy fantasises about “flying”, he imagines his doghouse (moon) to be an airplane (Uranus).

  3. PPS,

    DAMN you, Woodrow Wilson, for getting Snoopy into an unnecessary war against the Germans!

    ;-) :-)

  4. Update, I've emailed some photos of Sam to Isabella, and she has my permission to share them with any readers.


Isabel Van Fechtmann

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