The Responsibilities of Dog Ownership

A dog can live for 10 years, and often more, and the kind of life he has is yours to dictate. When you purchase your puppy you also collected two 'extras' - power over another living creature, and a responsibility for it. You can ill-treat it, neglect it, starve it, even kill it - with almost no fear or reprisal. Or you can love it, care for it, and develop it into the truest companion you will ever know. In return for the latter he will love you and adore you, no matter who you may be, or whatever you may do. He will never forsake you, never lie to you, and never cheat you.

As a dog owner, your main responsibility lies in keeping your dog healthy and sound. It begins the day you collect him, and ends the day when you place him in his final resting place. From the early days of vibrant puppy-hood he will need inoculations against disease. He will need veterinary care when he is ill, and tender loving care from you to aid a speedy recovery.

Equally important is his schooling. Your dog will live in your home far more than any other member of your family. The man of the house goes out to work, the lady of the house goes shopping and makes other excursions from the home. The children go to school, out to play, visit friends and so on. How often does your dog go out? He therefore relies on you, his owner, to teach him how to live in harmony with his adopted human family. When he learns that your home is his home, your family is his family, and that he is a loved and respected member of that family, he will joyfully protect you and yours against anything that would harm them.

As the years pass his demands on your physical powers will lessen, and age will take its toll on his strength and senses. This does not mean that he can be cast aside and forgotten. Now more than ever before he will need your love and devotion. Just to be able to be near you, to hear your voice, and feel the gentle touch of your hand will assure him that he is still loved and needed, will keep an old dog "young in heart." Nothing will destroy his morale more quickly, or more effectively, than your neglect.

These, therefore, are the responsibilities of dog ownership. A small price indeed to pay for one of life's richest experiences - an equal share in the ONLY love that money CAN buy!

E Du Boulay.

 

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Copyright 2003  [Camnusch]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 12/02/03