GrievingHannah
Ten Commandments for a Responsible Pet Parent...as dictated by your animal family member.

I ran across these commandments today looking through Mack's papers that we received when we adopted him. I have previously written that, even though we rescued Mack, it was Mack who saved us. Rescuing Mack gave me a sense of peace and redemption after Hannah died.

Adopting / Rescuing is not for everyone...we each must cope with our loss in our own way.  But if you are considering adoption / rescuing, I believe that these commandments are food for thought.  I have read instances when adoption has not worked for various reasons.  Perhaps these commandments will help somebody or some shelter dog/kitty looking for his/her forever home.

Ten Commandments for a Responsible Pet Owner as dictated by your animal family member:  (I have placed a ** by those that I believe are crucial):

1)  My life is likely to last 10-15 years.  Any separation from you is likely to be 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 as punishment.  You have your work, your friends, your entertainments; But I have only you.

5.  Talk to me.  Even if I don't understand your words, I do understand your voice when speaking to me.

6.  Be aware that however you treat me, I will never forget it.

7.  Before you hit me, before you strike me, remember that I have teeth that could easily crush the bones in your hand, and yet 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 have been in the sun too long, or my heart might be getting old or weak.

9.  Please take care of me when I grow old.  You, too, will grow old.

**10.  On the difficult journey, on the ultimate difficult journey, go with me please.  Never say you can't bear to watch.  Don't make me face this alone.

Everything is easier for me if you are there.  Because I love you so.

Lee's comment: In my mind, #10 is really important to me. When I die, I want my family to be around me.  I bet everyone here will feel the same way when your time comes.  I believe our animal family members deserve this, and I firmly believe that, when the time comes, it's our responsibility to be with them, stroking them, whispering their name, and telling them that we love them.  We will want the same when our time comes.  As terrible as Hannah's euthanasia was, I would have hated myself if I had not been there for her.  Hannah was family.
Lee (Mack's and Hannah's and Heidi's and Janie's dad)

Fragile Circle

"We who choose to surround ourselves with lives even more temporary than our own, live within a fragile circle, easily and often breached.
Unable to accept its awful gaps, we still would live no other way.
We cherish memory as the only certain immortality,
never fully understanding the necessary plan."

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GrievingHannah
Beaglemomma wrote:
I really love this but hope that no one takes offense if for whatever reasons they CAN'T be with their pet in that final hour.  I was there, but it is doubtful Molly knew it.  She had a stroke and was FRANTIC.  There was NO comforting her, loving her or even holding her long enough to whisper in her ear.  She went blind and that is why she was so frantic along with what was going on in her head that we couldn't determine.  I had to BEG the on duty Vet to give her something to calm her down so that I could even think and say goodbye to her, but by then she was beyond comforting. I envy those of you who did get to hold and comfort your little ones because I didn't get that at all and YES I do feel guilty about that even though there was nothing I could do about it.

I agree that IF possible we should be with our babies, just as we all hope we don't die alone, but there are times and circumstances I have read on this website where that wasn't possible.
chair.JPG 


Janice,

I understand and agree.

I don't mean to offend anyone.  These are my beliefs, and only mine.  I do not judge people for their decision, but, for me, I could never say it was my "personal preference" and walk away.  For me, I would consider myself to be selfish.  But that's just what I believe, and I would never say that the people who aren't there in the end by choice are wrong. All I'm saying is that I would/could never do it.  Hannah was family. That's all that mattered to me.
Lee (Mack's and Hannah's and Heidi's and Janie's dad)

Fragile Circle

"We who choose to surround ourselves with lives even more temporary than our own, live within a fragile circle, easily and often breached.
Unable to accept its awful gaps, we still would live no other way.
We cherish memory as the only certain immortality,
never fully understanding the necessary plan."

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DaniC
This gives my heart so much peace.
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ahartofilis
Hello Lee,
      It is good to read this and very timely for me. As you know, I adopted Rudy and he is growing into quite a strapping Labrador. I know how much having him has helped these past few month's, yet sometimes his pup ways can really wear on me.
      Reading this brings things back into a healthy perspective. He deserves the best I can give him. It is truly an honor to Coco to treat him with love, for who he is, to have patience and remember the reasons why I rescued him.......Thanks Lee.......Sincerely, Andrea
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DaniC
Here's another one from ten Ten Commandments above. It speaks to me. Don't be angry with me for long and don't lock me up as punishment. You have your work, your friends, your entertainments; But I have only you.
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GrievingHannah
ahartofilis wrote:
Hello Lee,
      It is good to read this and very timely for me. As you know, I adopted Rudy and he is growing into quite a strapping Labrador. I know how much having him has helped these past few month's, yet sometimes his pup ways can really wear on me.
      Reading this brings things back into a healthy perspective. He deserves the best I can give him. It is truly an honor to Coco to treat him with love, for who he is, to have patience and remember the reasons why I rescued him.......Thanks Lee.......Sincerely, Andrea


Andrea,

Thank you.

I have some of the same feelings with regard to Mack.  I just went to greet him (it's morning) on our bed, and he growled at me.  I accept this because Mack is not ready to get up.  I know that he loves his sleep time, and that I should know to let him awaken on his own terms.  I am sure this behavior stems from his life as a stray and his stays in shelters for over 7 months.

So I don't punish him at all.  My bad.

One of his worst behaviors is toward trucks.  He goes ballistic.  The only think I can do is to stomp my feet (that's how loud he is).  He gets it, and all is forgotten.

Mack can be a little pushy at times (he would steal food if given the opportunity).  We try to correct him with a stern voice, but then we let it go.  According to the Beagle Rescue, he stole food from garbage cans while he was there, and I surmise that this behavior stemmed from living as a stray and being desperate for food.  So we understand...we correct him, try to praise good behavior, and then we let it go.

As for Commandment #10, I told the shelter where we adopted Mack that if something ever happened to us, I would not want my brother to take Mack.  My brother is kind, but he cannot be with his dogs when the ultimate journey is at hand.  I have strong feelings about #10.  And I have had private messages here condemning my stand against "personal preference."  I always respond that our dogs (and cats) are family.  Family members are always present when the time comes.  To me, I simply think about my own death bed.  If my wife chose not to be there, I would be terribly alone and frightened.  But I know seeing her face will make my passing easier.  I'll be honest, I don't judge people who choose not to be there at the ultimate journey, but I don't understand the thought process of not wanting to be there at the end for a family member.  Hannah and Heidi were family.  I was there for them.  Mack is family, and I will be there for him.  So, yes, Commandment #10 is sacred to me.  Absolutely sacred.  Hannah was family.  At this terrible time, being with family is all that matters.

Take care, Andrea.  And thanks.  Please give Rudy a hug from Uncle Lee.

Best,

Lee
Lee (Mack's and Hannah's and Heidi's and Janie's dad)

Fragile Circle

"We who choose to surround ourselves with lives even more temporary than our own, live within a fragile circle, easily and often breached.
Unable to accept its awful gaps, we still would live no other way.
We cherish memory as the only certain immortality,
never fully understanding the necessary plan."

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GrievingHannah
DaniC wrote:
Here's another one from ten Ten Commandments above. It speaks to me. Don't be angry with me for long and don't lock me up as punishment. You have your work, your friends, your entertainments; But I have only you.


DaniC,

I love that one, too.

Thanks.
Lee (Mack's and Hannah's and Heidi's and Janie's dad)

Fragile Circle

"We who choose to surround ourselves with lives even more temporary than our own, live within a fragile circle, easily and often breached.
Unable to accept its awful gaps, we still would live no other way.
We cherish memory as the only certain immortality,
never fully understanding the necessary plan."

Quote 0 0