*In Memory of my friend BJ’s dog Rex, who went over the Rainbow Bridge 5/30/11.

A friend brought the following story to my attention. Whether it is true (it’s been around the internet for a few years) or just a legend, it is still a sweet thought and I hope it brings a little comfort to all who have lost a beloved pet.

The veterinarian examined 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. But Belker was dying of cancer. Sadly, the vet told the family she couldn’t do anything for Belker, and they all agreed that the time had come to perform the euthanasia procedure on the old dog. The next day, she felt the familiar catch in her throat as Belker’s family surrounded him. Young Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that she 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. They all sat together for a while after Belker’s death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than humans lives. Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, “I know why”. Startled, they all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned them. She’d never heard a more comforting explanation. He commented that people are born to learn how to live a good life, “like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?” The boy continued, “Well dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay around as long.”BJ, I know nothing will take away missing Rex, but I hope this helps ease the sting a little bit.