A Pet’s Ten Commandments by Stan Rawlinson

I got this from Braodview Kennels yesterday when I went to pick up a new foster dog with my sister (that story coming later this week so stay tuned, it’s exciting!)…

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 entertainments, 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.

UPDATE: 1/29/10: I have just found the original author of this work. His name is Stan Rawlinson, and you can see his original version and other brilliant works at his website: http://www.doglistener.co.uk/

37 Responses to “A Pet’s Ten Commandments by Stan Rawlinson”

  1. This is beautiful.
    I once had to take in a stray dog to be put to sleep. I cried the whole time, bug gushing tears, and sobs that felt like they were going to wrench my insides out. But I couldn’t bear to leave the poor dog alone…..

    • June says:

      I had a 14 year old Miniature Schnauzer who died in my arms a year ago, and I still cry over her. I may never get over losing her or holding her when she left me.

    • R M L says:

      It’s tough, that’s for sure. In the last year we lost two of the very best ever. Molly Brown died in my arms 9 months ago – she had lost use of her back legs. Just looked up at me & closed her eyes. Priscilla had cancer of the spleen and one night refused a walk or food – never a good sign. Had the vet come to our house and she left us while we rubbed her ears and sang the theme song from Rawhide; she loved both. Don’t know if I’ll ever be able to have another dog.

      • Lori A says:

        It is never easy losing a beloved pet (I don’t even like that term – my “pets” are my adopted kids), but I know when all is said and done, even though it never gets easier losing them, they would want me to have furbabies looking after me and my husband, and there are so many out there who need good, loving homes – way too many are euthanized – some humanely and some in barbaric ways – every day. Save a life – or more than one – and adopt – don’t shop!

  2. Hendrix says:

    my mommy has that hanging on our fridge. i wish everyone who has an animal friend in their life would live by these rules.

    purrrrrs

  3. Amy says:

    Awesome!!

  4. Zoey says:

    Wow, I really like this. Im going to print this out and keep it at home. Everyone who has a dog or cat shouyld read this and obey.

  5. Ceara Lorene says:

    this is amazing. im a 16 year old whos dream is to become a vet, i had to put my cat of 13 years (nearly my whole life) down and i couldnt bear to leave her alone as hard as it was for me to be there and hold her. i tried everything i could to save her but it was her time. i cant stand to see the things that some people to do animals, it kills me. this is why i’ve chosen a career in animal health and safety, to better the lives of those who can’t speak and help themselves. i have this printed and in a frame with a picture of each of my pets since my first one on my wall. it means so much to me, i thank the author dearly for this and i think that every person should come in contact with it.

    thank you,

  6. ME says:

    This is one of the most important thing that pet owners will ever read. thank you for posting this. Im sending this to all my pet owning friends and family members.

  7. Ioan says:

    Thanks for that!
    Something to never forget!

  8. Animal Luvr says:

    This is AWESOME. I am totally printing this off and posting it on my bulletin board. Every pet owner should read this and abide by it. Its so important. POerhaps we could clandestinely send this to puppy mill operators all over the country…? hee hee

  9. Valerie says:

    WOW…makes you think about how THEY feel about their lives!! Thank you…yes indeed a KEEPER!!

  10. Danielle Fenske says:

    Those commandments almost make me cry because it reminds me of when i saw my babies, my cats Lady & Slipper get taken away from me and also when i lost my baby Autumn my little kitten i will always follow the commandments.

  11. Jan says:

    I just had to put my dog of 14 years down this past week, it was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. I have printed this and will post it at the shelter where I volunteer. It is something every one should follow, I will share with all my animal loving friends and family

  12. Jasmine says:

    This was sad, it made me cry. It is true & yet a lot of us don’t realize or forget to cherish every moment! Especially with our animals because it’s true, we do have our work & entertainment but the animal/pet only has us. Opened up my eyes a bit. I let my cat always sleep with me or next to me & watch over her babies, now that she has kittens. It is fun to see them grow. She is a great cat. The best cat I’ve ever had & I’ve had quite a few. She is so lovable & loves to be petted, independent & likes to play & hide. My boxer had to go to a farm because he out grew the house & my boyfriend isn’t too found of animals. Now, my boxer is a proud daddy of several pups. They’re so adorable. I miss my Boxer too, because it reminds me of when I used to go jogging with him & play. He had soo many toys! I loved to buy him toys! I gave him baths, & he ate very well. I miss him because he was just as hyper as me! Pretty cool dog because he was a great guard too! I love my animals. :)

  13. D. Williams says:

    I whole-heartedly agree with the 10 commandments and believe if more people followed them (for their human family as well) the world would be well on its way to being the better place that it is supposed to be.

    And a comment to Jasmine (March 20, 2009 posting)

    You should have gotten rid of the boyfriend, instead of the dog. Animals belong with animal lovers and NON animal lovers don’t really make the best (insert your own category here). Of course, that’s just MHO.

  14. LINDA YOUNG says:

    I LOST MY CAT, WOJO, SUNDAY, MAY 17, 2009. I WAS WITH HIM TILL THE END. WE HAD HIM FOR 14 YEARS.
    WHEN I READ THIS I COULDN’T STOP CRYING, A FRIEND OF MINE SENT IT TO ME VIA EMAIL.

    HE DIED WITH SUCH DIGNITY AND I HOPE IT WAS BECAUSE I WAS WITH HIM.

  15. Richard G Rutledge says:

    When I first read the Ten Commandments I was awe struck. It took my breath away, furthermore it brought me to tears. I was ashamed of myself for being in considerate of my animal friends. Needless to say it has change me a great deal. I immediately made a copy of it and changed the title to ” The Ten Commandments I make to Riley,” Riley, my best buddy and friend pasted away this past week. My wife and I had to make that decision. A decision that came easier knowing that he was suffering. I sent a note to Riley’s and my friends, commemorating his passing and with it I pasted a copy of the Ten Commandments. I have received more comment about the beautiful attachment. All pet owners should be required to make sign this commitment before they purchase a pet.

  16. Vallerie says:

    This is so true. I have a dog that is getting older-almost fourteen and reading these commandments reminded me of the life we have had and how much I love him.

  17. Ella Jane says:

    Yes, this is wonderful insight and caution….I have a shelter dog that I love very much…However, these same “commandments” should be applied to small children and the elderly…so soon we forget!

  18. Sherri says:

    Beautiful commandments we should all follow!! I agree with D. Williams (May 9,2009), get rid of the boyfriend. A pet will NEVER let you down…

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  20. I had to retweet this. So many people forget their pets have feelings too….

  21. Pete Leikness says:

    I had seen this several months ago and it touched my heart, This morning I took that final trip with my best friend and held her for what seemed like hours, The vet was so good to her and helped me through this terrible journey. As she passed away in my arms I can say the last thought, sight and voice she heard was mine. Although I weep for her, and her to meet me at the door as she did every time I came home. She no longer has any pain and is in heaven, I am sure Dodge is running with Ubu,

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  23. Linda Brayman says:

    This is just so so beautiful!! And so very, very true. This is the first time I have seen this but, I have always tried to live by them. Only once was I unable to be with my best friend at the end. I don’t think he knew because by the time I gave him to the vet he was basically unconscious but I knew I wasn’t going to be able to be ther & it almost killed me. Quite a few years ago I bought myself this wonderful American Lop Rabbit I named Peanut Butter because of his coloring. It was love at first sight for both of us. In fact my dog loved him and so did one of my female cats. Peanut Butter & Snug (my dog) traveled by car to my Uncle’s in Vermont & spent a week; all of us had a ball.(Snug & Peanut Butter in his cage were both seatbelted in the back seat) I boought Peanut Butter a little child’s play tent that zipped closed & had a lined floor so he’d have some room to run. Well, he and the cat, Sassy, would rub noses through the vynl mesh & walk the perimeter together, 1 inside & 1 outside every day. I so loved that bunny & almost died myself when he got sick; he had some kind of infection the vet said but,too be sure, etc, etc it would cost me almost $500 which I didn’t have & couldn’t get. (I live on disability) The vet kept him overnight to make him comfortable & see if just simple things would help; they wouldn’t let me stay with him(it was very late @ night & they were the only Vet open so their rules were a little stricter @ night) So I went home to get a call about 4hrs later that he was gone. I cried from then till I got there to pick up the body & got almost hysterical when they brought him out in a little white coffin with a white rose on top. Cried all the wway home and all the time I dug his grave & burried him in his favorite spot in the back yard, a spot he loved to dig it when we were out for walks. I put a Stone bunny curled up asleep on his grave as a marker. I’m crying now as I write this. I have 3 wonderful bunnies now, Miss Velvet, a Rex, Miss Little Bit, a dwarf Rex and Mr. AL a Lion’s Head, all of which I love dearly but, no one will every replace Peanut Butter. He was just so so special, he’d rattle his cage door every morning to say “HI”, sit on the couch side of me or on my shoulder while I watched TV or read, loved to go for a walk, run actually, with his leash on. The 3 I have now all have cute traits unique to each & I don’t compare them to him, he just has a special place in my heart & always will. I miss him greatly, know he’d just have loved the bunnies I have now, but, I am gratful for the time & fun we had together & the love we shared. I still feel like I let him down by not being there at the last but, I do believe he knew how much I loved him & that helps.

  24. Debbie says:

    I have moved over 100 times, lived in 16 states and been in 35 states. In all the years, I’ve had at least a hundred dogs and cats (and other critters) and had to find them new homes due to moves. But, Buster was my “bud” … he LOVED to ride in the car and once in the car, he wouldn’t leave the car until you went “somewhere” … even if only a quarter-mile down the road.

    I had to put him down at 11 years old … first dog I EVER loved and had to put down … just to type this now is making me cry … I SOOO miss my buddy!

    However, he’s across the Rainbow Bridge and protecting any lake, pond or creek nearby as it’s HIS water! He loved fish and protected them! LOL …

    Now, I have Rusty, Mitzi and Nana as fur-kids to love, as well as Shy-shy, Sassy and Uggie (the rescue cat) to love …

    But, I still miss my bud …

    :Debbie

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  27. A very intelligent and caring person wrote that – and more have shared it. Thank you all.

  28. RAY CHRISTENSEN says:

    WE ARE GOING TO HAVE TO PUT OUR 14 YR. SHEPARD MIX DOWN THIS MONTH. A REPAIR PERSON WAS AT THE HOUSE AND TOLD ME TO LOOK UP YOUR SITE. I WAS REALLY HAPPY I DID AS IT WILL MAKE IT A LOT EASIER LATER THIS MONTH. WE ARE ALSO LOOKING AT HAVING TO PUT DOWN OUR 14 YR. YORKIE BECAUSE OF CANCER VERY SOON. SO YOUR COMMANDENTS WILL REALLY BE A LOT OF HELP. I AM ALREADY LOOKING TO ADOPT A SHELTER DOG AS WE DON’T FEEL WHOLE UNLESS WE HAVE A PET TO SHARE LIFE WITH.

  29. Janica says:

    I used to have pets. He was dead and my tears coming out non-stop. I never want to have pets anymore. I was so sad of seeing him dead. I never wanna go through that pain again.

    When we own a pet, we really have to take good care of them. Most important thing is that, never ever abuse them or make their life miserable.

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  31. Allie says:

    I have pet chickens who were rescued and a pet pig who was also rescued. Not a pot bellied pig, but a hog, the kind people eat. They are my life. I adore them and my pig is smarter than any dog I have ever met. My chickens have individual personalities and are so affectionate. What is sad is that some people buy their dogs a christmas present but eat a christmas ham. Please realize that farm animals are every bit as sentient as your dogs and cats. It makes no sense to love one animal and then pay for someone to brutalize and kill another. Be kind and show mercy on all creatures who have the capacity to feel pain.

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