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Ten Commandments for a Responsible Pet Owner ... as dictated by the pet.

By Stan Rawlinson

  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. Donít be angry with me for long and donít 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 donít 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 have teeth that could easily crush the bones in your hand, 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 Iím 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 difficult journey, on the ultimate difficult journey, go with me please. Never say you canít bear to watch. Donít make me face this alone. Everything is easier for me if you are there. Because I love you so.

Take a moment today to thank God for your pets. Enjoy and take good care of them. Life would be a much duller, less joyful thing without Godís critters.

Submitted by my wife, Audrey, Emmitsburg, Md.
 

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Rules for dog owners (suggested by their dogs)
  • I will not bathe my dog after he bathes himself in the mud puddle.
  • I will not push my dog away when she wants a hug after playing in a mud puddle.
  • I will not complain "My arm is tired" after only throwing the ball 20 times.
  • I will not confuse my dog by throwing snowballs for him to fetch.
  • I will not ask my dog to play fetch with a boomerang.
  • I will not drag my dog away from the interesting sniffing spots.
  • I will drop whatever I'm doing and take my dog out as soon as he asks me to.
  • I will not tell my dog to hurry up already when he's looking for just the right spot to take care of business.
  • I will not stare while my dog is doing his business.
  • I will not feed the cat before I feed my dog.
  • I will get rid of that cat.
  • I will not bring home any more cats.
  • I will never eat until my dog has tasted what I have and approved it for me.
  • I will share everything I eat with my dog.
  • I will set up the kiddie pool every day it's hot - even in December.
  • I will not leave my dog at home any time I go in the car.
  • I will allow my dog on the couch.
  • I will protect my dog from that obnoxious little human thing at all times.
  • I will not have another of those obnoxious little human things.
  • I will not hide my dog's ball in a place where I know he couldn't possibly retrieve it from and then ask him to go get it.
  • I will not take shredded, soggy, yummy tennis balls away from my dog.
  • I will not sneak around the backyard wearing funny clothes to test whether my dog is a good watchdog.
  • I will stop referring to my dog's necklace as her "collar."
  • I will not cut my dog's nails.
  • I will not abandon my dog for trivial reasons like "going to work".
  • I will not wake my dog when I come home from work.
  • I will not come home from work and feel the sofa to see if it is still warm from where my dog was sleeping "illegally".
  • Bad weather is no excuse for not walking my dog.
  • I will open the back door as soon as my dog sits by it.
  • I will not laugh at my dog for being confused over not being able to find the lump of ice that he buried earlier.
  • I will not run out of treats.
  • I will always carry cookies and treats.
  • I will not make my dog wear silly-looking antlers or red hats.
  • I will not make my dog pose for pictures with some fat stranger in a red suit.
  • I will not tie leftover ribbons and bows all over my dog.
  • I will not use decorations like tinsel that could be dangerous to my dog.
  • I will try much harder to understand my dog's language.

Submitted by Dory, Pittsburgh, Pa.
 

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Customer service representatives answer straightforward pet care and nutrition questions...

... however some calls can be quite unconventional as follows:

  • "My cat just came in from the garage and I was wondering...how many calories are in a mouse?"
  • "I have a neutered male cat. How old should he be before I can breed him?"
  • "What should I feed a borderline collie?"
  • "What size litter box do I need to keep my cat comfy?"
  • "Is it normal for a dog to shed?"
  • "How can I keep my cat from stealing my husband's toothbrush?"
  • "My cat passed a stool on the indoor rug and it's stuck in the vacuum cleaner. Any suggestions?"
  • "How can I get the secret recipe for your special dog food?"
  • "How do I stop my cat from giving food to the dog?"
  • "Your food turned my dog into a stud. Now what do I do?"
  • "Do you know how to toilet train a cat?"
  • "I have three cats. Is it true that a special brand of cat food makes the poop smell better?"
  • "Will chewing pop cans remove enamel from my puppy's teeth?"
  • "Where can I get a six-toed cat?"

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More Animal Truisms
  • If you think dogs can't count, try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket then giving Fido only two of them.
  • In order to keep a true perspective of one's importance, everyone should have a dog that will worship him and a cat that will ignore him.
  • No one appreciates the very special genius of your conversation as the dog does.
  • Outside of a dog, a book is probably man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.
  • People that hate cats will come back as mice in their next life.
  • Things that upset a terrier may pass virtually unnoticed by a Great Dane. =
  • We wonder why the dogs always drink out of our toilets, but look at it from their point of view: why do humans keep peeing into their water bowls?
  • When a man's best friend is his dog, that dog has a problem.

Submitted by Bill, Ardmore, Pa.

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Wrapping Presents with a Cat
  1. Clear large space on table for wrapping present.
  2. Go to closet and collect bag in which present is contained, and shut door.
  3. Open door and remove cat from closet.
  4. Go to cupboard and retrieve rolls of wrapping paper.
  5. Go back and remove cat from cupboard.
  6. Go to drawer, and collect transparent sticky tape, ribbons, scissors, labels, etc. . .
  7. Lay out presents and wrapping materials on table, to enable wrapping strategy to be formed.
  8. Go back to drawer to get string, remove cat that has been in the drawer since last visit and collect string.
  9. Remove present from bag.
  10. Remove cat from bag.
  11. Open box to check present, remove cat from box, replace present.
  12. Lay out paper to enable cutting to size.
  13. Try and smooth out paper, realize cat is underneath and remove cat.
  14. Cut the paper to size, keeping the cutting line straight.
  15. Throw away first sheet as cat chased the scissors, and tore the paper.
  16. Cut second sheet of paper to size - by putting cat in the bag the present came in.
  17. Place present on paper.
  18. Lift up edges of paper to seal in present. Wonder why edges don't reach. Realize cat is between present and paper. Remove cat.
  19. Place object on paper, to hold in place while tearing transparent sticky tape.
  20. Spend 20 minutes carefully trying to remove transparent sticky tape from cat with pair of nail scissors.
  21. Seal paper with sticky tape, making corners as neat as possible.
  22. Look for roll of ribbon. Chase cat down hall in order to retrieve ribbon.
  23. Try to wrap present with ribbon in a two-directional turn.
  24. Re-roll ribbon and remove paper, which is now torn due to cat's enthusiastic ribbon chase.
  25. Repeat steps 17-24 until you reach last sheet of paper.
  26. Decide to skip steps 17-21 in order to save time and reduce risk of losing last sheet of paper. Retrieve old cardboard box that is the right size for sheet of paper.
  27. Put present in box, and tie down with string.
  28. Remove string, open box and remove cat.
  29. Put all packing materials in bag with present and head for locked room.
  30. Once inside lockable room, lock door and start to relay out paper and materials.
  31. Remove cat from box, unlock door, put cat outside door, close and relock.
  32. Repeat previous step as often as is necessary (until you can hear cat from outside door)
  33. Lay out last sheet of paper. (This will be difficult in the small area of the toilet, but do your best)
  34. Discover cat has already torn paper. Unlock door go out and hunt through various cupboards, looking for sheet of last year's paper. Remember that you haven't got any left because cat helped with this last year as well.
  35. Return to lockable room, lock door, and sit on toilet and try to make torn sheet of paper look presentable.
  36. Seal box, wrap with paper and repair by very carefully sealing with sticky tape. Tie up with ribbon and decorate with bows to hide worst areas.
  37. Label. Sit back and admire your handiwork, congratulate yourself on completing a difficult job.
  38. Unlock door, and go to kitchen to make drink and feed cat.
  39. Spend 15 minutes looking for cat until coming to obvious conclusion.
  40. Unwrap present, untie box and remove cat.
  41. Go to store and buy a gift bag.

Submitted by Bill, Ardmore, Pa.
 

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A kangaroo kept getting out of his enclosure at the zoo.

Knowing that he could hop high, the zoo officials put up a ten-foot fence. He was out the next morning, just sauntering around the zoo. A twenty-foot fence was put up. Again he go out.

When the fence was forty feet high, a camel in the next enclosure asked the kangaroo, "How high do you think they'll go?"

The kangaroo said, "About a thousand feet, unless somebody locks the gate at night!"

Submitted by Kenneth, Shropshire, England
 

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Cat Laws
  • Law of Cat Inertia - A cat at rest will tend to remain at rest, unless acted upon by some outside force - such as the opening of cat food, or a nearby scurrying mouse.
  • Law of Cat Motion - A cat will move in a straight line, unless there is a really good reason to change direction.
  • Law of Cat Magnetism - All blue blazers and black sweaters attract cat hair in direct proportion to the darkness of the fabric.
  • Law of Cat Thermodynamics - Heat flows from a warmer to a cooler body, except in the case of a cat, in which case all heat flows to the cat.
  • Law of Cat Stretching - A cat will stretch to a distance proportional to the length of the nap just taken.
  • Law of Cat Sleeping - All cats must sleep with people whenever possible, in a position as uncomfortable for the people involved, and as comfortable as possible for the cat.
  • Law of Refrigerator Observation - If a cat watches a refrigerator long enough, someone will come along and take out something good to eat.
  • Law of Electric Blanket Attraction - Turn on an electric blanket and a cat will jump into bed at the speed of light.
  • Law of Random Comfort Seeking - A cat will always seek, and usually take over, the most comfortable spot in any given room.
  • Law of Bag/Box Occupancy - All bags and boxes in a given room must contain a cat within the earliest possible nanosecond.
  • Law of Cat Embarrassment - A cat's irritation rises in direct proportion to her embarrassment times the amount of human laughter.
  • Law of Cat Disinterest - A cat's interest level will vary in inverse proportion to the amount of effort a human expends in trying to interest him.
  • Law of Pill Rejection - Any pill given to a cat has the potential energy to reach escape velocity.
  • Law of Cat Composition - A cat is composed of Matter + Anti-Matter + It Doesn't Matter.

Submitted by Audrey, Emmitsburg, Md.
 

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Reflections on man's best friend
  • I wonder if other dogs think poodles are members of a weird religious cult. - Rita Rudner
  • A dog teaches a boy fidelity, perseverance, and to turn around three times before lying down. -Robert Benchley
  • Anybody who doesn't know what soap tastes like never washed a dog. -Franklin P. Jones
  • If I have any beliefs about immortality, it is that certain dogs I have known will go to heaven, and very, very few persons. - James Thurber
  • If your dog is fat, you aren't getting enough exercise - Unknown
  • Ever consider what our dogs must think of us? I mean, here we come from a grocery with the most amazing haul, chicken, pork, half a cow. They must think we're the greatest hunters on earth! - Anne Tyler
  • Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea. -Robert A. Heinlein
  • If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you; that is the principal difference between a dog and a man. - Mark Twain
  • You can say any foolish thing to a dog, and the dog will give you a look that says, 'Wow, you're right! I never would've thought of that!' - Dave Barry
  • Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. - Roger Caras
  • If you think dogs can't count, try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket and then give him only two of them. - Phil Pastoret

Submitted by Audrey, Emmitsburg, Md.
 

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A man absolutely hated his wife's cat and decided to get rid of him one day ...

... by driving him 20 blocks from his home and leaving him at the park.

As he was getting home, the cat was walking up the driveway.

The next day he decided to drive the cat 40 blocks away. He put the beast out and headed home.

Driving back up his driveway, there was the cat!

He kept taking the cat further and further and the cat would always beat him home. At last he decided to drive a few miles away, turn right, then left, past the bridge, then right again and another right until he reached what he thought was a safe distance from his home and left the cat there.

Hours later the man calls home to his wife:

"Jen, is the cat there?"

"Yes," the wife answers, "why do you ask?"

Frustrated, the man answered, "Put that son of a bitch on the phone, I'm lost! and need directions!"
 

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Pet Truisms
  • A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.
  • An aquarium is just interactive television for cats.
  • Buy a dog a toy and it will play with it for ever. Buy a cat a present and it will play with the wrapper for 10 minutes.
  • Cat's motto: No matter what you've done wrong, always try to make it look like the dog did it.
  • Although cats are rather delicate creatures and they are subject to a good many ailments, I never heard of one who suffered from insomnia.
  • Dogs and cats instinctively know the exact moment their owners will wake up. Then they wake them 10 minutes sooner.
  • Dogs have owners. Cats have staff.
  • Dogs believe they are human. Cats believe they are God.
  • Dogs may shed, but cats shred.
  • Don't accept your dog's admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful
  • I had to get rid of my husband. The cat was allergic.
  • I hope to be the kind of person my dog thinks I am.

Submitted by Kenneth, Shropshire, England
 

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Dog Philosophy 101
  • The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue. - Anonymous
  • Don't accept your dog's admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful. - Ann Landers
  • If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went. - Will Rogers
  • There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face. - Ben Williams
  • A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself. - Josh Billings
  • The average dog is a nicer person than the average person. - Andy Rooney
  • We give dogs time we can spare, space we can spare and love we can spare. And in return, dogs give us their all. It's the best deal man has ever made. - M. Acklam
  • Dogs love their friends and bite their enemies, quite unlike people, who are incapable of pure love and always have to mix love and hate. -  Sigmund Freud
  • I wonder if other dogs think poodles are members of a weird religious cult. - Rita Rudner
  • If I have any beliefs about immortality, it is that certain dogs I have known will go to heaven, and very, very few persons. - James Thurber
  • If your dog is fat, you aren't getting enough exercise. - Unknown
  • My dog is worried about the economy because Alpo is up to $3.00 a can. That's almost $21.00 in dog money. - Joe Weinstein
  • Ever consider what our dogs must think of us? I mean, here we come back from a grocery store with the most amazing haul - -  chicken, pork, half a cow. They must think we're the greatest hunters on earth! - Anne Tyler
  • Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea. - Robert A. Heinlein
  • If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you; that is the principal difference between a dog and a man. - Mark Twain
  • You can say any foolish thing to a dog, and the dog will give you a look that says, 'Wow, you're right! I never would've thought of that!' -  Dave Barry
  • Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. - Roger Caras
  • If you think dogs can't count, try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket and then give him only two of them. - Phil Pastoret

Submitted by Dory, Pittsburgh, Pa.
 

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Letter to My Animals

Dear Dogs and Cats,

The dishes with the paw print are yours and contain your food. The other dishes are mine and contain my food. Please note that placing a paw print in the middle of my plate and food does not mean it becomes your food and dish, nor do I find that aesthetically pleasing in the slightest.

The stairway is not a racetrack. Beating me to the bottom is not the object. Tripping me doesn't help because I fall faster than you can run.

I cannot buy anything bigger than a king-sized bed. I am very sorry about this. Do not think I will continue sleeping on the couch to ensure your comfort. Dogs and cats can actually curl up in a ball when they sleep. It is not necessary to sleep perpendicular to each other stretched out to the fullest extent possible. I also know that sticking tails straight out and having tongues hanging out the other end to maximize space is nothing but sarcasm and disrespect.

For the last time, there is not a secret exit from the bathroom. If, by some miracle, I beat you there and manage to get the door shut, it is not necessary to claw, whine, meow, try to turn the knob or stick your paw under the edge and try to pull the door open. I must exit through the same door I entered. I have been using the bathroom for years--canine or feline attendance is not mandatory.

The proper order is kiss me, then go smell the other dog or cat's butt, NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND. I cannot stress this enough!

To pacify you, my dear pets, I have posted the following message on our front door

Rules for Non-Pet Owners Who Visit and Always Complain About Our Pets

  1. They live here. You don't.
  2. If you don't want hair on your clothes, stay off the furniture. (That's why they call it "fur"niture )
  3. I like my pets a lot better than I like most people.
  4. To you, it's an animal. To me, he/she is an adopted son/daughter who is short, hairy, walks on all fours, and does not speak clearly.

Remember: Dogs and cats are better than kids because they: eat less, don't ask for money all the time, are easier to train, usually come when called, never drive your car, don't hang out with drug-using friends, don't smoke or drink, don't worry about having to buy the latest fashions, don't wear your clothes, don't need a gazillion dollars for college, and if they get pregnant, you can sell their children.

Submitted by Aunt Pat, Smith Lake, Va.
 

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