Sure, pets are cute and cuddly, but not all the time. Before you win the heart of a four legged friend, please read the 10 commandments for pet ownership.
1. Our Lives are likely to last 10-15 years; any separation from you will be painful for us. Remember that before you bring us home.
2. Give us time to understand what you want from us; don’t be impatient, short tempered, or irritable.
3. Place your trust in us, and we will always trust you back. Respect is earned – not given as an inalienable right.
4. Don’t be angry with us for long, and don’t lock us up as punishment; we are not capable of understanding why. We only know we have been rejected. You have your work, entertainment, and friends, but we only have you.
5. Talk to us sometimes. Even if we don’t understand your words, we do understand your voice and your tone. You only have to look at our tails.
6. Be aware that however you treat us, we’ll never forget it, and if it’s cruel, it may affect us forever.
7. Please don’t hit us. We can’t, and don’t want to hit back. We can bite and scratch, but really don’t ever want to do that.
8. Before you scold us for being uncooperative, obstinate, or lazy, ask yourself if something might be bothering us. Perhaps we’re not getting the right foods, we’ve been out in the sun too long, or our heart is getting old and weak. It may be we are just dog-tired.
9. Take care of us when we get old. You too will grow old, and may also need love, care, comfort and attention.
10. Go with us on difficult journeys. Never say, “I can’t bear to watch” or “Let it happen in my absence”. Everything is easier for us if you are there. Remember, regardless of what you do, we will always love you.
By Stan Rawlinson