Monday, September 25, 2006


The picture is my Bassett Hound "Riley"...He sure is "GOOFY!"

I have heard lots of nostalgic comments about our pets and how they are indeed part of our family....BUT....the following story was going around in an e-mail and it really makes you see animals in a new light. I did not "snope it" because whether it is true or not is irrelevant.

The "message" is without a doubt the most profound statement I have ever heard about animals. If this statement was indeed made by the young child in this is a classical example of the ol' cliche.."out of the mouths of babes!" If not..."WHO CARES!"

Pax....Doubting Thomas

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 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 a way.

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 loud 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 four-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. Leave the rest to God.


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