My family brought me home,
Cradled in their arms.
They cuddled me and smiled at me,
And said I was full of charms.

They played and laughed with me.
They showered me with toys.
I sure do love my family,
Especially the girls and boys.

The children loved to feed me.
They gave me special treats.
They even let me sleep with them,
All snuggled in the sheets.

I used to go for walks,
Often several times a day.
They even fought to hold the leash,
I'm very proud to say.

They used to laugh and praise me,
When I played with that old shoe.
But I didn't know the difference,
Between the old one and the new.

The kids and I would grab a rag,
For hours we would tug.
So I thought I did the right thing,
When I chewed the bathroom rug.

They said I was out of control,
And would have to live outside. 
This I did not understand,
Although I tried and tried.

The walks stopped one by one.
They said they hadn't time.
I wish that I could change things.
I wish I knew my crime.

My life became so lonely.
In the backyard on a chain.
I barked and barked all day long.
To keep from going insane.

So they brought me to the shelter.
But were embarrassed to say why.
They said I caused an allergy,
And then kissed me goodbye.

If I'd only had some classes,
When I was a little pup.
I wouldn't have been hard to handle,
When I was all grown up.

"You only have one day left,"
I heard the worker say.
Does this mean a second chance?
Do I go home today?

~ Unknown Author ~

Ten Commandments for a Responsible Pet Owner

1. My life is likely to last 10-15 years. Any kind of separation will be very painful to me.
2. Give me time to understand exactly 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 a punishment. You have friends and lots of entertainment and I only have you.
5. Talk to me. I may not totally understand all your words but I do understand your voice.
6. Be aware that however you treat me, I will never forget.
7. Before you hit me, remember that I have teeth that could easily crush the bones in your hand ~ but I choose not to bite.
8. Before you scold me for being lazy or uncooperative, please ask yourself if something might be bothering me. I may not feel well, may not be getting enough food to eat, I have been out in the sun too long or my heart is just getting weak and old.
9. Take care of me when I get old and I will take care of you too.
10. Go with me on my most difficult journeys. Never say "I can't bear to watch" or "let it happen in my absence." Everything is easier for me when you are there.

Remember that I love you more than anyone on this planet ~