- My life is likely to last 10 to 15 years. Any separation from you will be painful for me. Remember that before you adopt me.
- Give me time to understand what you want of me.
- Place your trust in me - it's crucial to my well-being.
- Don't be angry at me for long, and don't lock me up as punishment. You have your work, your entertainment, and your friends; I have only you.
- Talk to me sometimes. Even if I don't understand your words, I do understand your voice when it is speaking to me.
- Be aware that however you treat me, I'll never forget it.
- Remember before you hit me that I have teeth that could easily crush the bones of your hand but that I choose not to bite you.
- Before you scold me for being uncooperative, obstinate, or lazy, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I'm not getting the right food, or I've been out in the sun too long, or my heart is getting old and weak.
- Take care of me when I get old; you too will grow old.
- Go with me on difficult journeys. Never say I can't bear to watch it or let it happen in my absence. Everything is easier for me if you are there. Remember - I love you.
The Ten Commandments of Dog Ownership
© 1998, Stan Rawlinson
No portion of this article may be reproduced without permission of the copyright holder. Reprinted with permission from , Stan Rawlinson.