There is an anecdote concerning the fact that our best friends, our dogs, don’t live as long as we do. It’s credited to at least two different veterinarians, but the gist is this: a sick wolfhound has to be euthanized, and the family opts to let their four-year-old son be part of the event, which is occurring at their home. The vet arrives, the drugs are administered, and the parents sadly remark about how short a dog’s life is compared to a human’s. The little boy then tells them he knows why they don’t live as long.
"Everybody is born so that they can learn how to live a good life - like loving everybody and being nice, right?" The four-year- old continued, "Well, animals already know how to do that, so they don't have to stay as long."
Dogs are all about love. They teach us how to be good people. This is one of their many “jobs.”
Being a longtime dog owner myself, and having helped several to the Rainbow Bridge, I can’t help but think that this child is correct. What we learn from our best friends is invaluable. That is, if you are open to learning, if you are paying attention. A dog tied in the backyard 24/7 isn’t going to teach you much. Even then, if you looked, you’d learn about patience, devotion and forgiveness. You only have to look.
Sander’s Book is at once a mystery novel, personal growth journal, and filled with what she found out about handling cancer in her dog, Sander. Diagnosed with a potentially invasive cancer, Sander went on to live not for six months, not for a year, not for two years but for seven and a half years, not passing away until he was 14 years old!
How Sander beat the odds, and how the author learned to think clearly about solving Sander’s problems is a riveting story. If I had read this book before I found cancer in my dog, Stevie, he might have lived a far more comfortable life before passing on.
Even though I still grieve deeply for my heart dog, Stevie, I didn’t feel that wound reopening while reading Sander’s story. It is, above all, a story of the joy of living with a wonderful dog. It is not a story of a dying dog, rather, it is the story of a living dog, doing the things that make him happy, and thus, make his owner happy. It’s a story of life, not a story of inevitable death.
Let’s face it, it’s not the fact that we die that is important. Nor is it how we die. We all die, and that’s a fact we can’t get away from. It’s how we live our lives that makes the difference. Sander’s Book is a lovely example of one woman focusing on life. This is one of the many lessons taught by Sander.
All profits from the sales of Sander’s Book are being donated by the author to dog causes and charities. Please contact Ms. Burnet at www.cinnamondog.com to buy Sander’s Book.