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)
"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."