Here's the surprising answer of a 6 year old child.
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 dogs' 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 for as long as we do.”
Remember, if a dog was the teacher you would learn things like:
That's the secret of happiness that we can learn from a good dog.