A Dog’s Purpose? Explained By a 6-Year Old

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seniorgoldenAnyone who has lost a dog to old age, or illness, has surely asked themselves, why can’t they just live longer? The author of the story below is unknown, but this story will touch the hearts of anyone whose hearts have been touched by a special dog.

A Dog’s Purpose?
(from a 6-year-old).

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. It has changed the way I try and live.

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 joyride.

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. We had to put our beautiful French Bulldog to sleep 10 days ago due to progressive seizures. I have never had to do a more difficult task in my life. But I am grateful that he was in a seizure when he was put to sleep, I knew that we were doing what was best for him. There has been an empty space in my life for the past 10 days, but I look back at what a great life Otto had – and reading this little quote a couple of days ago sums that feeling up.

    ‚ÄúSing no sad songs for me, but to know that my life, however short or long, was an enviable one. I was a French Bulldog.”

  2. Just 7 days ago our dog Jasmine passed away. At first when she was dying I was selfish and told her sternly that she could not leave me, that I needed her to stay! So Jasmine opened her eyes and tried to stay awhile longer. I looked into her eyes and knew she was suffering and just barely hanging on because she knew I couldn’t let go. I came to realize if I truly loved my little girl I would let her go where there was no sickness, no pain or sorrow. She had been there for me all her 12 years even though she was sick off and on all her life. It was mine turn to be there for her and allow her the peace she desperately needed. With tears flowing down my face I hugged her one last time saying “It’s ok, you can rest now. I will always love you!” Letting go is the hardest thing to do when you love someone. I would give anything to hold her back in my arms but I know where she is she can play and run without being sick like she was meant to! She was one special little pup!

    • I totally understand where you were coming from. My Boston Terrier “Bossy” I had to put down almost 4 years ago. I had both set of parents at one point in time, I was there the day he was born. I lost his mother (who was vacinated) and the rest of his little to parvo. Almost lost him then too. I told him one night when he was the only surviving puppy, that he couldn’t leave me. The next morning, I woke up to him wiggling on my chest. That’s when I knew he was my soul puppy. 15 years later, I saw old age hitting him big time. But I too was selfish. “You can’t leave me” I would say as I held onto him. And he didn’t. But he got to the point that he couldn’t see nor hear. After hearing him yelp a couple times when he walked into a table. And seeing him just stop in the middle of the room and stand there because he was to scared to move then. I knew what I had to do. I had to stop thinking of myself. With tears in my eyes, we went for that one last drive so he could feel the wind on his face one last time before he went to sleep. It’s strange, I’d been able to do the right thing for other animals I’ve had, but with him it was difference. Maybe it was because we had been though so much together, I don’t know. But I learned that no matter what, I can’t be selfish when it comes to my animals.

  3. Our dogs are a very special gift from the Almighty, given to us to teach us about unconditional love, friendship, devotion and fidelity.