Thursday, February 3, 2011

A Dog's Purpose

Over a year ago my mom sent this email forward to me. I generally have a good laugh and then delete forwards, but for some reason this one was so important that I kept it in my email.

"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.''

This precious story stuck with me, and yesterday as I prepared for the worst, it hit me that my own sweet, loyal, perfect Yorkie might not be coming home. It is incredible how much we grow to love our pets and welcome them in to our families. Bayla D'Lane has been a joy to our family for almost 7 years now and we couldn't imagine life without her. Yesterday morning she went in to the vet and we knew something was very, very wrong. With abnormal calcium levels, the doctor predicted cancer. X-rays revealed a mass in her abdomen. Only an exploratory surgery would reveal the truth. I didn't even get to see her before she went in. Terrified of the truth, I spent most of the day on pins and needles, knowing that the next call from the Vet was going to be that we needed to come say goodbye. The phone rang and my heart dropped, but the news we received was not in fact the worst. The mass in her abdomen turned out to be her very inflamed uterus, which had to come out. The removal left a gaping hole which caused blood to rush to the area, dropping her bp, and making it unsafe for the doctor to continue with the surgery to remove the tiny cysts on her mammary glands; however, our girl was going to be just fine. She'll need another surgery when she is stronger to remove the cysts. What a relief. I went to visit her yesterday afternoon just as the anesthesia was wearing off. I walked in and she immediately began whimpering. She couldn't move, but she let me know that she knew who I was and that she was happy to see me. The feeling was mutual. I nuzzled close to her and told her how much I love her.

I just spoke to my Mom and guess what? Bayla D is on her way home from the pet hospital. She'll need a few weeks of recovery, but soon we'll have our sassy, Princess Yorkie back filling us with love and laughter daily.

I am so thankful for everyone's prayers for her and for our family. The rest of the email forward says this--

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 comment:

  1. This post made me smile today, Lauren. I am so glad Bayla is on the mend!