A Pet’s Ten Commandments

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Often when I’m walking with someone who doesn’t know Carson (or me) very well, this person will try to do Carson’s job for him. They’ll tell me to step to the right or the left, that there’s a big obstacle coming up to go around, stuff like that.

This gives me the opportunity to explain how a dog’s perception works; that Carson’s doggie vision and ideas don’t tell him to start going around an obstacle until he’s right up on it. For example, if there’s a garbage can blocking the sidewalk, Carson will walk right up to the bin, make a sharp 90 degree turn to the right, another sharp 90 to the left, another to the left and then, once we’re around the obstacle, another back to the right. Think military marching formation.

Humans, on the other hand, will make a gentle arc around the obstacle with the full knowledge the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. Dogs? Not so much.

As I learned at the Seeing Eye-the user must always trust the dog. “Follow your dog” became the montra. The dog has been extensively trained to do his/her job and we, mere humans, need to step in line with how the dog has been trained. That trust and bond is why this article struck me so deeply…

I was sent this article via E mail and, while it’s a tear jerker, I hope it gives some good insight from a dog’s perspective. If we humans could step into the mind of a dog, we’d be a lot better off. This article helps us do just that…


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 entertainment, but I have only

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

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.

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