1. Don’t ignore me for too long. I may only live for 10 to 15 years. It seems like forever when you’re away from me and it hurts my heart when I don’t know where you are.
2. Take me to new places to meet friendly people and animals. I might be frightened of them at first, but if you hold my paw through these new experiences, I’ll learn to be more confident and trusting of others. I really do love to meet new friends.
3. Don’t throw me away when new family members arrive. They are my family too and I will love and protect them as much as I love and protect you.
4. Don’t get mad at me when I jump up. I love you so much and sometimes I can’t help getting excited and wanting to give you a hug.
5. Teach me new things. I love making you happy so teach me what you’d like me to do. Learning is great exercise and I love it just as much as a run at the park.
6. Don’t get frustrated and give up on me. I don’t understand your language, but I’m trying my best to learn. Give me time to understand what you want of me because all I want to do is please you.
7. Don’t take out your stress on me. No matter how your day went, I am always happy to see you and will do whatever I can to make your day better.
8. Give me comfort when I’m scared. I always feel better when I’m with you and it may just take a moment before I understand that new things wont hurt me.
9. No matter how busy you are, try to spend a little bit of quality time with me every day. This is truly what I look forward to the most and every minute means so much to me.
10. Don’t leave me outside when it’s too hot or too cold. I don’t have anywhere to go to stay cool or to keep warm and I don’t know how to escape if I’m in a desperate situation.
11. Don’t forget the little things that keep me healthy and happy. My paws hurt if my toenails are too long and I feel much better after my coat has been brushed free of mats. I could even get sick if my teeth are too dirty. It’s only minutes of your time, but it means so much to me.
12. Trust me. I trust you with all my heart, so please trust me too. You mean the world to me.
13. Don’t be angry with me for too long. You have your work, your friends, your entertainment. I have only you.
14. Talk to me. I may not understand your words, but I understand your tone and body language.
15. Always treat me with kindness. Be aware that however you treat me, I will never forget it. The more you love me, the stronger our bond will be.
16. Please don’t hit me. Remember that I have teeth that could easily crush the bones in your hand, but I choose not to bite you because I love you. If I did something wrong, I didn’t mean to make you angry, so please help me understand how to not repeat it. I would much rather give you kisses.
17. Let me know whenever I’ve done something right. Nothing in the world makes me happier. I can tell when you’re pleased with me and if I know what I’ve done to make you smile, you can bet your life that I will try and do it again. And again, and again, and again…
18. Pay attention to me if I’m not being myself. Before you scold me for being lazy or uncooperative, please check to see if something might be bothering me. My heart may be getting old, I may be unwell, or I could even be in pain.
19. Take care of me when I get old, just as much as you cared for me when I was a puppy. When I was young, you spent so much time cuddling me and touching my soft fur. My fur might not be as soft and I am no longer small, but my love for you has only grown stronger.
20. Come with me on difficult journeys. I understand that it’s hard for you, but please stay with me until the very end. Everything is better, easier and safer for me if you are with me. Remember, I love you.