1. I don't live as long as you. My life is likely to last about 10-15 years. Less if I am a small pet, like a hamster or gerbil. But I will love you in my own, special way whether I am with you for 1 or 15 years or more.
2. Give me time to understand what you want of me. I only have clues to go on.
3. Place your trust in me, as I place my trust in you.
4. Don't be angry with me for long and don't lock me up as punishment. You have your work, your friends, your entertainment, but I have only you. And often I don't understand what I've done wrong.
5. Talk to me. Even if I don't understand your words, I do understand your voice and your gentle hand.
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 could hurt you, and yet, I choose not to bite you because I love and trust 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 last 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. And this last thing is the final, loving, service that you can do to take away my pain, even though it is so painful for you.
Remember the body may grow weak
and old and finally cease to be -
but love can never die.
Take a moment today to say thank you to your pets.
Enjoy and take good care of them because life would be
a much duller, less joyful experience
without our four legged family and friends.
(first published on this blog 2011 with different images)