The following is a story a friend of mine sent me who just happens to be a veterinarian.  It's called, "Why dogs don't live as long as people."


Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine an elderly dog named Belker.  The dog's owners and their little boy were all very attached to Belker and were hoping for a miracle.  After examining Belker, I told the family their old friend was dying of cancer and there wasn't anything else I could do.  So, I offered to put the dog asleep at their home if that's what they wanted.  The parents agreed and asked me if they could wait until the next day though so they could talk to their son about what was going to happen; they wanted to use it as a learning experience. 


The next day, I drove back to their house and we all gathered around Belker, everyone petting the old dog for one last time.  I wondered if the young boy really understood what was about to happen.  Within a few minutes, Belker slipped quietly away, and the young boy seemed to accept Belker's death without too much difficulty. 


We all sat there together for awhile after Belker's death, wondering why pets lives are so much shorter than human lives.  It was then the young boy piped up and said, "I think my parents and I know why."  Obviously caught off guard, I turned to look at the boy, and out of his mouth came the most comforting explanation I've ever heard in all my years of being a vet. 


The little boy said, "When people are born, they have to learn to live a good life, like loving everybody all the time and being nice.  Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don't have to stay so long."