Living and Giving

The Classic Pamela Positive: What Dogs Teach Us

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Here is a moving story I wanted to share. The author is unknown.

This involves a story of a young boy whose dog needed to be put to sleep. Here is a conversation that ensued with his family.




\”We sat together for a while after Belker\’s (the dog\’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 to 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.\”




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;
  • Take naps;
  • Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy;
  • 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.


Fig¹.  Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash
Fig².  Photo by Adam Griffith on Unsplash
Fig³.  Photo by Patrick Hendry on Unsplash