Wednesday, May 23, 2012

tough stuff and a kid's view on life

I should tell you up front, I thoroughly failed on "wordless wednesday." Let's call this one "wordy wednesday."

Whoa, boy. I follow Life With Dogs on Facebook, and today they shared a question from a fan asking for input. Their 11-year-old dog's health has worsened to the point that Rosie is on hospice care, and the family is waiting for the right time to put her down. The fan specifically asked for advice from those who have been in this situation, as to whether or not the family's 7- and 10-year-old children should be present as they put Rosie to rest.

The thought of having to go through that ourselves, as adults, kills me. But to add on top of that, taking into consideration our (future) children losing their best friend?  I nearly fell apart at my desk today at work. I can't IMAGINE it, and I haven't yet had to live through it...

I had dogs growing up, and never witnessed any of them being put to sleep. MY dog, MY best friend as a kid, Dingo - was alive when I went to college, and was put to sleep while I was away. I do regret not being there for her - I don't remember having a choice, I don't think my family told me it was going to happen. I do have only good, happy, memories of her - so I'm really torn on this subject?  What do you all think? Have you had to handle this? Oh, please don't make me cry....I just thought it might help others work through this question for their family, when the time comes.

The icing on the cake was a post from another Facebook fan, as a comment on the LWD page. I did some research to find the source of this letter, and some amazing insight on a dog's purpose, from a six-year-old. Have your tissues are amazing in their simplicity and life views....

A Dog's Purpose

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 lit...tle 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.''

By: Karen McNeill 
(Karen is not "friendable" on Facebook - my guess is that she has gotten overwhelmed since this went viral.)

A quote (again, author unattributed) I found on another blog post that carried Karen's letter. This pretty much sums it up, in our house!!

“Dogs are not my whole life, but they sure do make my life whole”

And now, a happy picture! (or three)

(Chad likes when I take pics of him sleeping. And he LOVES when I post them on the internet).


  1. Thanks for posting those pictures, dear. Sheesh.

  2. Brandy...I, too, follow LWD and when I saw that posting I was also torn. I was probably around 7-8 when our first dog was put to sleep and I remember staying in the car with my mom and couldn't understand why dad came out without Prince...they tried to explain took a while. I was there for one of my dogs...I was about 16-18 yrs old. I was heart-broken. Recently, my husband and I had to put to sleep one of our cats....I had to leave the room. For me, I can't imagine losing any of the other pets we have (3 dogs, 2 cats & a bird)... Debbie