A child of six gives answers to questions that adults find perplexing …

I received the story of the boy and his dog in the picture, in an email and I learned a great deal from this little boy.

A child of six shed light on our mixed feelings:

A veterinarian was called to examine a family’s ten-year-old wolfhound who was pretty ill and they were hoping for a miracle. He told them that their pet was dying of cancer and that there was nothing that he could do for the dog. However, he offered to perform the euthanasia procedure. The parents felt that their six-year-old son should be an observer. They felt that he might learn something from the experience.

The vet wondered whether the little boy understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, the dog slipped away peacefully and the child seemed to accept his dog’s transition without much difficulty. They sat beside their pet, wondering out loud about the sad fact that animals live for a shorter time than humans.

The child, who had been listening quietly, piped up. “I know why.”

They all turned to him in surprise as he said; “People are born so they can learn things like loving everybody and being nice, right? Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to live so long.

 Thank you Shane. It is not often that a grandmother like me learns so much from a boy of your age.


  • When a loved one comes home, always run to greet them.
  • Take naps and stretch before rising.
  • Remember to play sometimes.
  • Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
  • Lie on your back on the grass sometimes.
  • On hot days, drink lots of water and sit under a shady tree.
  • When you are happy, remember to show your joy.
  • Delight in a long walk.
  • Be loyal.
  • Never pretend to be something you’re not.
  • If something you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
  • When someone is having a bad day, sit silently, sit close by and nuzzle them gently.


This entry was posted in Grief and Grieving, Schizophrenia on by .

About Jill

Author of books and articles on support and experiences of living with a mentally ill family member. My aim in blogging is to let others see how a loving family, with a father and husband who is able to give unconditional love, can help the family cope. Many call me the blogging grandma.'

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