|A Dog's Purpose From A 4 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,
andtheir 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 the
four-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.
"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 four-year-old continued,
"Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don't have to
stay as long."
|Stages of Grief
|Acceptance, Hope, Reorganization
Re-entry into a more Normal Life
Intensely Painful feelings of loss
Mechanical functioning and social insulation
|Pain and Guilt
|shivah, also spelled Shibah, or Shivʿa, (Hebrew: “seven”),
in Judaism, period of seven days of prescribed mourning that begins immediately after the burial of a
parent, a spouse, a child, a brother, or a sister and concludes with sundown on the seventh day.
Shivah is not observed on the intervening Sabbath and terminates if a major religious festival occurs
during the period.
Traditional observance of shivah requires that mourners stay at the home of the deceased,
sit on low stools or on the floor, cover all mirrors, and put on no new garments or leather footwear;
they may not cut their hair or shave, may take no part in ordinary business, and
may not engage in marital relations.
Friends and relatives visit to express their sympathy; men may form a minyan (quorum) for prayers
recited at the home of the deceased. Some mourners burn a seven-day candle in memory of the
departed. Actual observance, especially among Reform Jews, varies considerably.
shivah 2012. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved 28 January, 2012, from
|A-dog-able Flowers from
Personal Care Attendant
The Art of Finding,
Keeping, or Being One
by Katie Rodriguez Banister
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