Until one has loved an animal,
a part of one's soul remains unawakened.
Tom has sent the following illustrated masterful messages for us to peruse. Dogs are so loyal that they love us no matter what we do. But, if we want to provide the best life possible to these wonderful animals, we have to remember that they have complex thoughts and feelings, too...for us to decipher.
Illustration of dark-haired, medium-size dog sitting and waiting at front door peering upwards toward the oval window set within it; his posture is erect and tail straight out behind him...anticipating!
Don't be upset when I jump for joy when you come through the door!
I only live for 10 or 15 years. You are what makes that time enjoyable. It's hard on me when you leave.
Illustration of a beagle looking very inquiringly at you; with long ears and soulful eyes, he says:
Give me time to understand what you want from me!
I don't always get it right on the first try, but I promise I'm trying as hard as I can.
Illustration: A happy-faced Siberian Husky, tail curled over his back, befriends a hugging little girl.
Give me your trust!
Just like I trust you, I need you to trust me, too.
Illustration: A pleading puppy-face with long ears and sad, yet with anxious eyes speaks,
Don't be angry with me for too long.
And please don't lock me up to punish me!
You have your friends and family to keep you happy and entertained. I just have you.
Illustration: A dog sits outside on snow-covered yard....patiently waiting ...brrrr, it's cold out here.
Take me inside when the weather gets bad!
The backyard doesn't have air-conditioning or a heater. You don't have to let me on the couch; but a small part of the kitchen is much better than sleeping in the chilly snow.
Illustration: Dog language with front paws stretched out on the carpet with nose between them, advises:
Talk to me!
Sure, we don't speak the same language, but the sound of your voice brightens my whole day.
Illustration: Poor little fluffy white dog with black ears and snub nose is trembling with fear.
Comfort me when I'm scared!
You know a lot more about loud noises, strange people and new places than I do. I need to know that you'll protect me from them. I always feel safer when I'm with you.
Illustration: A young woman cuddles her dog with arm around him, hand beneath his chin, face to face.
Remember that I'll never forget how you treat me!
Teach me that humans are made of love, not pain. And don't ever let me forget it.
Illustration: A German Shepherd with alert ears walks with a 3-year old girl holding a loose leash
Come outside with me!
The sights, sounds and scents of nature are some of my greatest pleasures in life. I don't care if we play, go for a walk or just sit under a tree together...I want you to experience them with me.
Illustration: A “Bowser the Hound” face touches noses with a black/white striped kitten.
Let me make new friends!
Introduce me to other dogs, cats or even bigger animals. We might not get along in the end, but having some more friends that look and smell like me makes my life that much brighter.
Illustration: A Pekinese dog sits on a table chair eying the delicious-looking food tidbits on a plate.
Give me a treat every once in a while!
Food is one of my greatest pleasures in life. I know you want me to be healthy...so I understand when you don't share your own meals with me. But giving me a dog biscuit when I've been good or mixing tasty vegetables mixed with my dinner is guaranteed to make me wag my tail extra hard.
Illustration: A doberman wearing collar licks master's face with long pink tongue.
Please don't hit me!
I have teeth that can crush bone. Instead, I cover you in sloppy wet kisses. Just as I choose not to hurt you...please make the choice to not hurt me.
Illustration: Medium-sized dog sits on boat pier gazing over quiet water with far trees mirrored in it.
Understand when I need my alone time!
I love you more than anything, but even though it's rare, I don't always want to play or cuddle. Don't be sad if I'd rather sleep on the cold tile floor instead of in your bed on hot summer nights. And be understanding if I don't want to play as much as the years go on.
Illustration: Doggie rides in car with a partially opened window...en route to somewhere else.
Show me your world!
The house and yard might be the only places I ever see unless you come with you...a trip to the pet shop, the park..or even just a ride in the car is exhilarating. I can't wait to see what you'll show me.
Illustration: Greyhound, sitting alert eying 5 cookies on his nose, waits for command to bump them up and catch in his mouth. He's house-dressed with gingham tie which is bowed at the front.
Teach me new things!
Learning new tricks keeps my mind active, but most of all, it gives me a way to impress you. For your friends, I love showing off...looking up at you and seeing how proud of me you are.
Illustration: A chocolate-brown Labrador is having “a ball playing like a pig in mud”...eyes aglow with dog-joy. Let me get dirty once in a while!
Your world is inside, but I thrive outdoors; sometimes I find a lot of mud or a lake that smells like all of its fishy inhabitants. I understand if you don't want to wash all that stuff off every day, but as long as it's safe, let me go back to my wild roots every now and then.
Illustration: Golden Lab puppy sits on a dock bench with his master hugging him...beside lake water.
Nothing makes me feel more loved than when you take time out of your day to rub my ears or scratch that itchy spot on my back that I can't reach. I can't understand your words, but I definitely understand the feelings behind a hug.
Illustration: A photo shot of a young dog's head resting on pillow...eyes sad and droopy ears.
Pay attention if I don't seem like myself!
It might seem like I'm just being lazy or stubborn, but I might not be feeling well. I can't get help for myself...and I need you to look out for me and care for me.
Illustration: Man with long hair elastic-tied in a ponytail is in softly rippling water. He holds his beloved Siberian Husky in front allowing its body to float peacefully in this serene lake.
Love me when I'm old just as much as you did when I was young!
I might not be the cute puppy that I once was...but I still love you just as much as I did then. Please take care of me when my body doesn't work like it used to.
Illustration: Military personnel salute as “Husky member” is carried to his resting place: Dog Heaven.
Come with me...on my final journey!
I know it will be difficult, but I need you by my side when the time comes for me to leave this world. Every moment down to my last breath is easier if I have you with me.
* * * * * * * * * *
Readers...unknown to me just how you feel, but I was in tears as I viewed and read the last couple “conversations” from the man's beloved Husky to his Master...and the sentiments of love he displayed for his pet. We had two Siberian Huskies (Kiska and Sabrina) at home when my children were in school and university...so I related extremely well to the scenario of “Family Pets”.
Pearl of Wisdom
If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty
and gratitude...then animals are better off than a lot of humans.
Merle Baird-Kerr...written May 27, 2014
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