I got this from my brother last night:
A Dog’s Ten Commandments
1. My life is likely to last 10-15 years. Any separation from you is likely to be painful. Remember that before you buy me.
2. Give me time to understand what you want of me, don’t be impatient, short-tempered or irritable.
3. Place your trust in me and will always trust you back. Respect is earned, not given as an inalienable right.
4. Don’t be angry with me for long and don’t lock me up as punishment. I am not capable of understanding why. I only know I have been rejected, you have your work, entertainment and friends – I only have you.
5. Talk to me sometimes, even if I don’t understand your words. I understand your voice and your tone – “you only have to look at my tail.”
6. Be aware that however you treat me, I will never forget it and if it’s cruel it may affect me forever.
7. Please don’t hit me. I can’t hit back but I can bite and scratch and I really don’t ever want to do that.
8. Before you scold me for being lazy, uncooperative or obstinate, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I’m not getting the right food, or I’ve been out in the sun too long or my heart might be getting old or weak. I may be just dog tired.
9. Please take care of me when I grow old,. You, too, will grow old and may need love, care, comfort and attention.
10. Go with me on difficult journeys. Never say, “I can’t bear to watch” or “let it happen in my absence.” Everything is easier for me if you are there. Remember, irrespective of what you do, I will always love you.
(Stan Rawlinson, author of A Dog’s Ten Commandments, dog behaviorist and obedience trainer. His website is http://www.doglistener.co.uk)