The Ten Commandments of Animals
I. My life is likely to last ten to fifteen years. Any separation from you will be painful for me. Remember that before you bring me home.
II. Give me time to understand what you want from me.
III. Place your trust in me; it’s crucial to my well-being
IV. Don’t be angry with me for long and don’t lock me up as punishment. You have your work, your entertainment, and your friends; I have only you.
V. Talk to me sometimes. Even if I don’t understand your words, I understand your voice.
VI. Be aware that however you treat me, I’ll never forget.
VII. Remember before you hit me that I have teeth that can crush the bones in your hand. Yet I choose not to bite you.
VIII. Before you scold me for being uncooperative, obstinate, or lazy, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I’m not getting the right food, I’ve been in the sun too long, or my heart is getting old and weak.
IX. Take care of me when I get old. You too will grow old.
X. Go with me on difficult journeys. Never say, “I can’t bear to watch it,” or “Let it happen in my absence.” Everything is easier for me if you are there. Remember, I love you.