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A dog’s purpose…

By Dr. Andrew Jones

What is the purpose of a dog?

For me it is many…

Unconditional Love

Are GREAT listeners

Always HAPPY to see me

Ready for excercise…keeping me fit

Up for adventure

Clean up under the kitchen table

Help keep me safe…especially during long runs in the woods

Wonderful companions

Teach BIG life lessons…

on being present,

living in the moment

How to deal with loss…death and dying

Dr Andrew

Here is what a 6 year old has to say…

[Edit – click on the text below for a larger view]


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Topics: Pet health | 30 Comments »

30 Responses to “A dog’s purpose…”

  1. Avatar Dana Says:
    August 17th, 2011 at 6:54 am

    The story block is unreadable; the print is too small…enlarging actually makes it worse. Perhaps it’s the white on black background.
    Your list is excellent. I no longer have dogs, I switched to cats. I do hope to again have a dog, or two, but the living situation has to be optimal, which means NOT in a city.

  2. Avatar Ursula Says:
    August 17th, 2011 at 6:56 am

    Thanks for the note about the little boy’s observation about dogs and life – that was the best! Ditto for cats….

  3. Avatar Dana Says:
    August 17th, 2011 at 7:02 am

    Here you go, all you dog lovers… one purpose of a dog is to have FUN!
    Just got this from a dog lovin’ friend: http://www.dogwork.com/aqs8/

    Enjoy! I sure did…

  4. Avatar Judi Conigliaro Says:
    August 17th, 2011 at 7:28 am

    Well, after reading the profound words of a six-year old boy after the death of his dog, we know now why God made six-year olds. To keep the adults in line and to teach us older folks the true meaning of life. Tears are rolling down my face – what a great fealing. Thank God for six-year olds!

  5. Avatar wendy johnson Says:
    August 17th, 2011 at 7:39 am

    Wow. Little Shane got it bang on! Thanks for sharing this story Doc.

  6. Avatar Dana Says:
    August 17th, 2011 at 7:41 am

    Wonderful list of purposes for a dog. Too short though: there are many more. As for dealing with death, that will never happen. I have lost several dear dogs in my long lifetime. I can’t and won’t “get over” any of them, and only hope they will sit, stay, wait for me.

  7. Avatar Marianne Says:
    August 17th, 2011 at 7:51 am

    Thank God for wonderful dogs like Belker…it was obvious he was loved…and kudos to 6-yr old Shane for understanding what most adults can’t. I too had tears rolling down my cheeks! Thanks for sharing.

  8. Avatar Mary Emmons Says:
    August 17th, 2011 at 8:01 am

    I agree with Judi, it totally brought tears to my eyes. I agree Dogs love unconditionally and are our true friends!

  9. Avatar Dottie Says:
    August 17th, 2011 at 8:54 am

    No truer words were ever spoken than that of the little 6 year old boy.

    We can learn so much from animals if we only take the time to listen & watch.

    I have lost 15 since 1999 the last one 2 weeks ago & soon to lose another. I have learned so much from them especially unconditional love. (That’s one humans really have a struggle with – yet dogs do it so easily.)

    Love them dearly while you have them as after they are gone you only have memories- may sure you will have good ones. That’s all you have to hold on to.

  10. Avatar Virginia Says:
    August 17th, 2011 at 8:55 am

    Wow, that is some amazing wisdom from a young person. Simple truths and wisdom often come from the young. It sounds like his parents taught him well also. Thanks for sharing this sweet story.

  11. Avatar Virginia Says:
    August 17th, 2011 at 8:56 am

    Anyone who has trouble reading the small print…. just click on it and it will be readable and clear.

  12. Avatar Lynette D Says:
    August 17th, 2011 at 9:27 am

    Right click and open in new tab/window and it will be enlarged.

    I believe the dog/wolf taught early humans that other creatures had the capacity to love, or basically had a soul.

  13. Avatar Heather Says:
    August 17th, 2011 at 10:00 am

    We are here to learn many lessons and our pets are here to teach us some of those lessons. Basically they teach us how to be better humanbeings or in some cases how much we need to still learn!

  14. Avatar annette Says:
    August 17th, 2011 at 10:53 am

    HERE is what the block says:

    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.

    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.”

  15. Avatar annette Says:
    August 17th, 2011 at 11:12 am

    I always say dogs (or cats or any companion animal) are “angels in little fur coats that God sends to live with us for awhile for the sole purpose of giving us a glimpse of heaven to make us thirst for more.” Yup, that’s a direct quote from me. Why? Because they show us:
    1) Unconditional Love
    2) Total Acceptance
    3) How to Forgive, and forgive and forgive
    4) Patience, Sweetness of Spirit, and so much more.
    5) How to Care MORE for Another than you do for YOURSELF
    6) How in loving another you are in fact loving yourself and your Creator.
    7) How absolutely MARVELOUS God is.

    No wonder He proclaimed, “The BEASTS of the Field are MINE.” Man is only given DOMINION (the ability and response-ability to care for, protect and enjoy)our animal kingdom. They do NOT belong to us.

    Psalm 50:10-11
    New King James Version (NKJV)
    10 For every beast of the forest is Mine,
    And the cattle on a thousand hills.
    11 I know all the birds of the mountains,
    And the wild beasts of the field are Mine.

    And have you ever read THIS? (I found it on a blog written by a guy named, DAN)

    Luke 12:6-7 (NLT)
    What is the price of five sparrows–two copper coins? Yet God does not forget a single one of them. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.

    Jesus presumably points at a bird flying by, and says, “Aren’t these birds worth virtually nothing to you? Do you even care about them? Is anyone sad or grieved when one of them dies? The Father cares for every single sparrow! That little bird in the tree is the Father’s beloved companion. He was watching when she first pushed her way out of the egg, and listening as she sang her first song. He has held her in his arms, soothed, and cared for her every day since she was born. The Father laughs with her when she plays a game, and comforts her when she is frightened and hungry. One day this little sparrow, the one that no man has ever noticed, will be taking a drink from a puddle when she is suddenly and viciously injured. As she lays there dying, terrified and quivering, the Father will pick her up and stroke her neck with a strong and loving hand, whispering words of hope and rest into her ear as she breathes her last breath. He is moved with compassion at the death of his tiny, beloved friend. He weeps for the curse of sin on the earth, and the resulting death of his companion. And yet, his sorrow wanes as he remembers that they will soon be together again, without the pain and suffering of this world, enjoying each other forever in eternity.” Then, Jesus looks back at the crowd of men and women around him, their faces betraying the hardship of sin and suffering in their hearts. Their spirits, crushed beneath the trials of this life, flicker dimly behind tear-filled eyes. “So don’t be afraid;” he continues, “you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.”

    That really touched me. God is not only the great Physician, but the great Veterinarian as one day all these little ones will be enjoying eternity as they were originally designed to do so.

  16. Avatar Diane Says:
    August 17th, 2011 at 11:40 am

    Thanks for that great post, Annette!

    And I know my little doxie was given to me to love and to care for…he brings me such joy to see his jaunty little self, to laugh when he does something funny, he cheers me up, he is there to just calmly be with me when there are tears, and he often tries to lick them away, to snuggle with under a blanket when it’s chilly, to enjoy the outdoors when it’s nice out…he is also good to sit in the lamp of an elderly friend and comfort her and also to make her laugh. God created him and gave him to me because He knew my little dog would bring me joy and delight every day.

  17. Avatar Sally's mom Says:
    August 17th, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    Forthe person who said the print is too small just click on it a couple of times.

    A child’s crystal clear mind speaks such truth about a dog’s life. very touching.

  18. Avatar Aida Says:
    August 17th, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    I took in an old old Akita in his last two years of life, his owner ignored his presents and stop loving him…for the Akita, had trouble walking and started to wet himself….that wonderful dog became my dog….I would not let him be put down…he never left my side and we manage to pull him up with a towel and put on dog diapers and go for slow walks…he loved us so much and we loved him…I was happy to have him for those two years I felt I knew him forever….such a loyal dog, we recently saw the movie hachiko about an Akita from Japan…that was our boy….think of him everyday….our kikoman

  19. Avatar Keena Says:
    August 17th, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    That was very touching and Heartfelt!

  20. Avatar Kelly Says:
    August 17th, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    My mom gave me that story when I lost my 15 year old German Shorthaired Pointer named Coco from Cancer. It certainly helped me (although I still miss her) that was 4 years ago. 1 year later (almost to the day of loosing Coco) I lost a 14 week old German Shorthaired Pointer puppy named Mocha (and yes, I miss her too). That short story helped me again and I now have a wonderful 4 year old German Shorthaired Pointer named Piper who is healthy, energetic and full of vim and viger!

    I have since passed that story on to other friends who have lost their dogs to cancer and they all agree, it is beautiful and that it has helped them as well.

  21. Avatar Ruth Macdonald South Africa Says:
    August 17th, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    Dogs feed your soul. They know what you need and give. I get rescue dogs they have so much love. Keeps the BP down.

  22. Avatar Venu Gopal Raja Says:
    August 18th, 2011 at 5:45 am

    Dear Doctor,

    Congratulations, this is a beautifully written article and I have passed the same to many of my friends who love pet dog as a companion. Really touching and worth remembering.

  23. Avatar Argel Says:
    August 18th, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    Dear Dr Jones,

    I was very touched by the story. All animals are wonderful creatures, but dogs are even more so. I´m sure God created dogs to keep us company and love us unconditionally, and most of all, to teach us how to be better human beings.

  24. Avatar Margarita Says:
    August 18th, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    Hello Dr Andrew, I enjoyed reading your comments but the story and kid’s was too poignant. I hate pain and fear and try to avoid them. Humans in general with the exclusion of yourself think they are superior to animals,think they have more appreciation of certain meats: I have yet to see a human licking their lips for 20 minutes after consuming a meal!! So I share my best bacon on Saturday morning and when I do eat meat my beloved whippet shares that with me too. I have never loved any being as much….

  25. Avatar jenn Says:
    August 19th, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    anyone that declaws a cat, does not deserve to have one, it’s cruel and barbaric,they have rubber nail tips for them. hey after you have your cat declawed. COME TO MY HOUSE SO I CAN DENAIL/CLAW YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  26. Avatar Dillonsmom Says:
    August 20th, 2011 at 6:59 am

    So very sweet…..this child understood better then alot of adults.

    Kind of how I feel about all my dogs…..and my current dobe, Dillon…..doesn’t yet have the title “Companion Dog” CD after his name yet……BUT he is everything that “companion dog” stands for.

  27. Avatar Dillonsmom Says:
    August 20th, 2011 at 7:03 am

    Re declawing cats…..I absolutely hate this! It seems once people declaw their cats….they let them outdoors…….are they so stupid to realize that w/o claws these cats have no protection????

    I have 2 indoor cats..and I wouldnt EVER dream of declawing…….people are so lazy…..it’s simple to just wrap cat in a towel, and use either toenail scissors or a small clipper.

    I believe it’s the fact that, as usual, people are getting lazier!

  28. Avatar deann Says:
    August 21st, 2011 at 6:26 am

    Love the purpose of a dog!! and of course its a family member!! like how u said that in one of your articles. great emails!! keep up the great work!!!!

  29. Avatar Irona Deranger Says:
    September 2nd, 2011 at 7:48 am

    I suffer from Major Depression and live alone. I have developed a bit of agoraphobia, making it super hard or sometimes impossible to get out and go somewhere. Was diagnosed with an Anxiety Disorder (GAD) also.

    The best thing I’ve ever done was adopted my little chihuahua from the Humane Society. Pedro was overlooked by adoptees because he had mange, flea allergy and his tail can’t wag because of a birth defect. No one wanted this little ugly dog. The Humane Society reduced the fee to adopt him to try to get rid of him. My heart felt total love for this poor little dog. I fell in love with him before I ever saw him in person. I found him online at Petfinders.com. I adopted him after driving almost 3 hours to get him. I treated the problems he had.

    I saved him, but he also saved me from this horrible depression and loneliness! We saved each other from horrible afflictions! He is the VERY BEST pet I have ever owned. He is so smart, sometimes I think he tries to answer me…haha. He understands so much that I say. I put in his own little doggie door that opens to my large, fenced-in back yard.

    He now has a life of luxory. My depression lifted dramatically because of his love and loyalty to me. He follows behind me every time I get up and walk around. He is something else…haha.

    Please adopt a pet to help with the over-population in our country! Have them spayed or neutured to stop this major problem that we have!

  30. Avatar Coralie Says:
    September 28th, 2011 at 10:43 am

    I too have saved our dog and he has come to us all the way from Romania to save and support us.
    He is the 10th rescue dog in my life so far (not all 10 at the same time! 9 beloved friends have passed over the rainbow bridge.

    We named our rescue dog Astro as he comes from “above” with a purpose. He is an amazing dog who spent years roaming the streets after being kicked out by his “protectors” when they no longer had resources to care for him.

    He has been hit by a truck and has lost 30% of his eyesight. His paws were cracked and swollen and a tooth was broken, infected and very painful.He was also overweight, believe it or not! probably due to the poor quality dog food the shelter could provide(they did their best but Romania is a poor country!)

    A more grateful, loving and trusting dog would be difficult to find after being a victim of so much cruelty. He is so friendly,loves to learn new things and so obedient,but likes to play tricks on us; as if to remind us that life should be a fun game! We have been together for 6 wonderful months so far.
    Finally, he gets so excited when I add “Dr Jones supplement” to his homemade food. He says “I´m lovin´it!” and my Mum has fixed my paws and got my tooth filled so life is pretty good right now and by the way I have lost weight too so I can play games and go for long walks with my Mum and Dad. Yes, dogs certainly know how to love and teach love and kindness under all circumstances!


Dr. Andrew Jones, DVM