Why dogs live less than humans

I recently stumbled upon this beautiful story. Gratitude to my friend Adrijana Strnad for having shared it.

Why dogs live less than humans

Here’s the surprising answer of a 6 year old child.

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 dogs’ 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 for as long as we do.”

Live simply.
Love generously.
Care deeply.
Speak kindly.

Remember, if a dog was the teacher you would learn things like:

• When your 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 faithful.
• 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.

That’s the secret of happiness that we can learn from a good dog.

Author: unknown

John Wooden: winning and succeeding

I recently watched my son’s soccer team, they are all either six or seven years young, play their last two games of the outdoor season. Due to their low age they are not eligible to play in any official league yet, hence the trainers from all these different clubs who are participating are organising unofficial type of games during weekends.

At the end of these matches every participant got a medal. Out of the 12 or so teams there wasn’t a single player who did not get a medal and they all got the very same model. No gold, no silver, no bronze, no losers either. The message was clear: you applied yourself, you gave it your best effort, each and everyone of you contributed to the success of this league and you can be proud of your individual and your team’s progress.

It reminded me of John Wooden (October 14, 1910 – June 4, 2010), the famous “American basketball player and head coach at the University of California. Nicknamed the “Wizard of Westwood,” he won ten NCAA national championships in a 12-year period as head coach at UCLA, including a record seven in a row. No other team has won more than four in a row in Division 1 college men’s or women’s basketball. Within this period, his teams won an NCAA men’s basketball record 88 consecutive games.“ (Wikipedia entry).

I interpret his way of defining success to stem from a very similar mindset like the above soccer story: “Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.” Isn’t this beautiful? You are the only person who can truly assess if you are successful or not.

I recommend his book “Wooden on Leadership: How to Create a Winning Organization” and here is a TED talk in which he is describing his philosophy regarding winning and success. Let me know what you think about it.