Because I was raised this way, I have very limited tolerance for people who treat companion animals like things or like furniture. Your dog is not a couch. Your cat is not a lamp. When you bring a companion animal into your life and your home, you should be prepared for a 15 to 20 year commitment and all that the commitment entails through the good, the bad, the hilarious, the infuriating and the heart breaking. I have often thought there should be pet caregiver vows, but I’m not sure who would administer them.
I make this promise to you.
I will care for you for your time on Earth.
I will value you on my worst of days and on your worst of days.
If you make a mess or eat my shoes, I will understand that is not done with malice but is the result of something I failed to do for you.
I will help you understand my language and I will learn yours so that we can communicate easily.
I will make sure you can be identified if we are ever separated from each other so you can find your way home.
I will never hurt you, abandon you or be cruel to you.
If you get sick, I will take care of you.
When you get old, I will take care of you.
I will have a care plan for you in case something happens to me so that you will have a new home with people who will love you as I do.
I value your unconditional love, your humor, your company and your soul.
And I will keep my promise to be there for you for all of your days.
If you are not prepared to make a commitment to a companion animal, please do not get one. If you have a burning desire to have a pet, but know you cannot make the commitment that entails, become a foster to save a life.