I saw this note on Facebook one day and it moved me to tears. Go through the list and see what I added at the end.
- My life is likely to last 10 to 15 years. Any separation from you will be painful, remember that before you get me.
- Give me time to understand what you want of me.
- Place your trust in me—it is crucial to my well being.
- Do not be angry at me for long, and do not lock me up as punishment.
- You have your work, your entertainment, and your friends. I only have you.
- Talk to me sometimes. Even if I don’t understand your words, I understand your voice when it is speaking to me.
- Be aware that however you treat me, I will never forget.
- Remember before you hit me that I have teeth that could easily hurt you, but I choose not to bite you because I love you.
- Before you scold me for being uncooperative, obstinate or lazy, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I might not be getting the right food, or I have been out too long, or my heart is getting too old and weak.
- Take care of me when I get old, you too will grow old. Go with me on difficult journeys. Never say, “I cannot bear to watch.” or “Let it happen in my absence.” Everything is easier for me if you are there, even my death.
Remember that I love you.
Now, think of this list in its simplest form, ignoring all specific details like age and teeth, instead of picturing your dog (or a dog) in your mind, picture your mother, your father, your spouse, your child or your friend, and remember that these are the ten things they could say to you but they often don’t.
Remember that every single being has feelings of its own. Just because these feelings are not expressed or verbalized does not mean they don’t exist. Remember this list the next time you look into the eyes of someone you love—or someone who loves you. These are the same ten things they could say to you but don’t.
To Man’s Best Friend,