Pet Commandments

My mother’s friend Karla, who is coping with the gradual health deterioration of her beloved 16 year old dachshund Sparky, sent out this wonderful email. I’m sure it is giving her some comfort as she prepares for the inevitable. Since many of my readers are pet owners/animal lovers, I thought I’d share Karla’s mailing here – the pet commandments. I was sobbing by the end of it 😥

A Pet’s Ten Commandments:

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 of 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 entertainment, 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 could hurt you, 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 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.

An extraordinary piece of writing that was of great comfort to me when our family dog Gracie passed away was Eugene O’Neill’s “Last Will and Testament of an Extremely Distinguished Dog”. He wrote it upon the death of his dog, Blemie. Another tearjerker.

“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”

– Anatole France

Frida Kahlo hugging her dog:

Have a terrific weekend, everyone. And I’ll see you back here for the first installment of “Music Mondays”!