A Dog’s Purpose According To A 6 Year Old

Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
January 7, 2002

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.”

Author Unknown - Please comment if you know the 
author so credit can be awarded.
  1. Debbie said:

    Really beautiful! Thank you and God bless!

  2. Classic! Had to re-blog that one, Thanks as always my friend.

  3. lala1966 said:

    oh! That really hit me in the heart xx

  4. LOVE!!! there have never been more true words spoken than by that child! are these true stories?

    • Hey, It’s always an honor to be re-blogged!!!! Thanks!!! Oh, your Chile recipe looks great. Especially with the garlic!!!! Take Care and God Bless 🙂 Kenny T

  5. Ann Louise said:

    So very true! Dogs are so unconditional with their love (well, usually) 🙂

    • There’s nothing like a little pup coming over and laying their head in your lap at the end of a long day!!!! Take Care and God Bless 🙂 Kenny T

  6. Last Friday afternoon, my 11 year old black lab quietly went to sleep at the hands of my vet. So, this hit a tender spot. I can say, of the five dogs I’ve known in my lifetime, my lab is the only one who loved me unconditionally. Fortunate is the person who has a sweet, loyal, obedient dog. Obviously, the dog in this story was that kind of dog too. This is so touching to me, I will be reblogging it.

    • This story has touched my heart too. My wife and I have put down two dogs and one cat. All three of them were like children….We have good comforting memories!!!! Take Care and God Bless!! 🙂 Kenny T

  7. Reblogged this on The Shepherd's Presence and commented:
    Dilbert and the corporate world is optional. The story about the dog is so tender. It hit a spot in my heart since I recently had to grant permission to my vet to put our sweet family lab to final sleep. Not all dogs are sweet, in fact, some are quite selfish and ornery. Our dog, like the one in this story, was of the rare, unconditional love sort.

  8. Being a dog lover and having experienced the end of life for several pets, this prose is so touching (even if it isn’t true, it could be). Thanks for sharing, and for Dilbert’s wisdom! Appreciate your ‘like’, too. Blessings and Merry Christmas.

  9. Arlene said:

    So sweet. We could learn lifelong lessons from a dog…joy, unconditional love and loyalty…just a few.

  10. The Prodigal Daughter said:

    In retrospect, the longer we live, the more we learn or could it be that we are just slow learners? 🙂 Merry Christmas my friend.

    • That’s a good point you made, “could it be that we are just slow learners.” This would be a great discussion over a Big cup of coffee with Pumpkin spice creamer….. Take Care and God Bless 🙂 Kenny T

      • The Prodigal Daughter said:

        thrown in couple of biscotti, too. 🙂

          • The Prodigal Daughter said:

            i make some myself. sometimes i just recycle stale bread -they’re the best lol

      • The Prodigal Daughter said:

        pardon my trigger happy fingers, i mean throw in not thrown in . :p

  11. Caddie said:

    I truly believe that. God really knew what He was doing creating such exquisiteness!

  12. mytiturk said:

    This lesson stands on its own great wisdom. Thanks for liking my blog: A Berber Home.

  13. Out of the mouth of babes-And they do demonstrate that unconditional love that seems to slip pass us humans-thanks for visiting my blog-I appreciate it.

  14. Beautifully put. It’s always heartbreaking for me when a pet dies or has to be put down. I’m posting this on my Facebook page.

  15. I reblogged this too. I had a black lab that had walked too far – and now a cat with some remal failure. Pets really do teach us how to live. Thanks for all your stories.

  16. Argus said:

    At last …

  17. Argus said:

    I was comforted once with these lines (from memory here, so probably not all that accurate)—

    “I’ll lend you for a little while,
    This pet of Mine,” He said.
    “For you to love while he’s alive
    And mourn for when he’s dead.
    It may be six or seven years
    Or twenty-two or three,
    But will you, till I send for him,
    Take care of him—for Me?”

  18. I only read the first paragraph – i have some things in the house that need to be done, – but i just couldn’t resist the title of this article. My dog is in heaven. I will come back to read this and your other stories. Thank you for sharing!!

  19. I just looked at the date on this post, and it is the date of my dog’s birthday. He is 8 now and he definitely came to us already knowing how to be nice and love all the time. Peace, Linda

  20. Reblogged this on Silver Moon and commented:
    The innocence of a child can sometimes show us the truth about life!
    This story is beautiful… just as beautiful as all the animals that bless us with there companionship and loyalty.

  21. I have seen this before, but gets me boohooing every single time!

  22. Jan Grace said:

    Great post

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