These thoughts were inspired from The 10 Commandments From a Pet’s Point of View by Stan Rawlinson, the Doglistener.
- My life is likely to last 20-30 years. I am a herd animal and changes in my environment are stressful. Remember that before you buy me and move me from place to place.
- Give me time to understand what you want from me. I do not understand your impatience, anger, or frustration. They frighten me.
- Place your trust in me and I will do my best to trust you back. Respect is earned not demanded.
- If you are angry with me, don’t lock me up, send me away or ignore me. I am not capable of understanding why. If you do not maintain a friendship with me, I will choose my herd mates over you.
- Talk to me quietly. Even if I don’t understand your words, I understand your tone of voice. You only have to look at me to realize that.
- Be aware that however you treat me I’ll never forget it. If you are unkind, it will affect me forever.
- Don’t hit me. I can strike, kick or bite back. But I prefer not to have to do that.
- Before you get upset with me for being uncooperative, stubborn, or lazy, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. I may not understand. I may be in pain. I may not be getting the right foods. I may be affected by the weather. There will be a reason. Please look for it.
- Take care of me when I get old. Have my years of service not earned me the right to be loved, cared for, kept comfortable and given attention even when I can no longer be ridden?
- Make plans for my care in the event you are no longer able to look after me. Do not leave my fate in the hands of strangers.
- Be with me on difficult journeys – even the final one. Never say, “I can’t bear to watch”. Be my partner even at the end.