1. My life is likely to last 10-15 years. Regular separation from you will be painful and can even cause depression. Think before you buy me.
  2. Give me time to understand what you want from me. Please don’t be impatient, short-tempered or irritable.
  3. Place your trust in me and I will always trust you back. Respect is earned, not given as some sort of inalienable right.
  4. Don’t be angry with me for long, and don’t lock me up as punishment. I am not capable of understanding why I am being locked up. I only know I have been rejected. You have your work, entertainment and friends. I only have you.
  5. Talk to me sometimes. Even if I don’t understand your words, I do understand your tone. You only have to look at my tail to know that.
  6. Be aware that however you treat me, I will never forget. If that treatment is unjust or bad, it may spoil the special bond between us.
  7. Please do not hit me. I cannot hit back, but I can bite and scratch and I don’t ever want to feel the need to do that.
  8. Before you tell me off for being uncooperative, obstinate or lazy, ask yourself if something might be wrong with me. Perhaps I’m not getting the right food or I’ve been out in the sun too long. Maybe my heart is getting old and weak, or maybe I’m just dog-tired.
  9. Take care of me when I get old. You too will grow old and will also want understanding, care, love, and affection.
  10. Go with me on difficult journeys. Never say, “I can’t bear to watch” or “Let it happen in my absence.” Everything is easier for me if you are there. Remember, irrespective of what you do, I will always love you.

© Stan Rawlinson. Dog Behaviorist & Obedience Trainer

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