The Star-Herald

A dog owner’s 10 commandments

I am a dog lover. My friends all know this. If you have read any of my articles, you know this. I have several friends who are also co-workers and they are also dog lovers. We like to share our “dog” experiences with each other — it doesn’t matter what the experience is — and know that we are there for each other because we are “dog moms.”

I know that I have shared this with you a few years back. These are some guidelines that I found while reading my Planet Dog “Doglopedia.” Since it has been a few years, I thought I would bring this back. For you who have read it before, read again; it’s a great reminder to someone who owns a dog. For people who have not read this, I hope you enjoy it.

1. Remember that my life is likely to last ten to fifteen years and that any separation from you will be painful for me.

2. Give me time to understand what you want from me.

3. Place your trust in me. It is crucial to my well-being that you rely on me as I know I can rely on you.

4. Don’t be angry with me for long and don’t lock me up as punishment. You have your work, your friends, and your entertainment. I have only you.

5. Talk to me. Even if I don’t understand your words, I understand what the sound of your voice means when you speak to me.

6. Be aware that however you treat me, I’ll never forget it.

7. Before you hit me, remember that I have teeth that could easily crush the bones in your hand, but I choose not to bite you.

8. Before you scold me for being lazy or uncooperative, ask yourself if something may be bothering me. Perhaps I’m not getting the right food, or I’ve been out in the sun too long, or my heart is getting old and weak.

9. Take care of me when I grow old. You too will grow old.

10. Go with me on difficult journeys. Never say “I can’t bear to watch it” or “Let it happen without me.” Everything is easier for me if you’re there. Remember that I love you.

One of my favorite quotes: “Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our life whole.”

If you are looking for that furry friend, come visit us at the Central Aroostook Humane Society. We have some wonderful, loving animals looking for a family to call their own. We are open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., closing for lunch from 12 to 12:30.

Please be responsible pet owners — spay and neuter your pets.

Gail Wieder is a member of the Board of Directors of the Central Aroostook Humane Society.

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