The Ten Commandments of a Responsible Pet Owner
By: Stan Rawlinson
1. My life is likely to last 10 to 15 years. Any separation from you will be very painful.
2. Give me time to understand what you want from me.
3. Place your trust in me – it is crucial for my well-being.
4. Don’t be angry with me for long, and don’t lock me up for my punishment. You have your work, your friends, your entertainment. I have only you!
5. Talk to me. Even if I don’t understand your words, I will understand your voice when it’s speaking to me.
6. Be aware that however you treat me, I’ll NEVER forget it.
7. Before you hit me, remember that I have teeth that could easily crush the bones in your hand, but I choose not to bite you
8. Before you scold me for being lazy or uncooperative, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I’m not getting the right food, I’ve been out in the sun too long, or my heart may be getting old and weak.
9. Take care of me when I get old. You, too, will grow old.
10. Go with me on difficult journeys. Never say, “I can’t bear to watch it” or, “Let it happen on my absence.” Everything is easier for ME if you are there. Remember, I love you.
You have some really great tips here, especially where you talk about checking to see if something is wrong when your dog is acting out. My sister has a dog that has been nippy lately, and we think she might be in pain or sick, so we’re planning to take her to a vet soon to get that checked out. It’s important to read the cues that your pets give you, for sure, and as you said, be with them through the hard times.