Pet Ten Commandments


We have talked before about the benefits of animals and pets to our well being.  And our fine furry friends ask for so little in return. Do we owe them anything?

I think we do.

First there is the Biblical, “Whatever ‘ye do to these the least of my brethren……,” you do unto me. I believe animals are included in that statement.

I think there is a special place in hell for those who mistreat animals. And those that do should be shunned by polite company. They certainly should not get multi-million dollar contracts!

Once when I was quite young I was driving home and saw a man with a fishing pole dragging a dog on a leash and striking it with the fishing pole. It was just a teeny-tiny little furry thing. I turned around, parked the car and like Don Quixote went to fight windmills.

The man was obviously drunk and I told him to stop; which he did not. I tried to take the fishing pole from the man’s hands but I could not get it. He even tried striking me with it. So I scooped the dog up into my arms and carried him off. The man yelled at me and told me I could not take his dog. He threatened to call the police.

I said fine, I’ll call them for you!!!!” And I marched away with the dog to a nearby gas station with the man not far behind me. Poor dog, his paws were bloody from being dragged and he had a few cuts from the fishing pole as well.

I told the attendants on duty what had happened and they let me use the phone and watched the dog for me since his owner had followed me in. They even gave him a dish of water.

When the police arrived they listened to the story and told the man he was not fit to have the dog and told me I could have him. I am not sure that would happen today.  But this was in the early 70’s.

Now reality hit! I couldn’t keep him. I had a parakeet plus my lease said no dogs or cats. Well, as luck would have it, the owner of the gas station wanted a dog and said he would keep him.

Over the next couple of years I used to stop in that station to see how the mutt was doing. He always came running and licked my face when I came in.

I don’t think I would do what I did that day today. Too many people carry guns. Yet, I have told people I have seen in my neighborhood or at the park that if I see then mistreat their dog again I am calling either the police or the animal shelter. And I get out my cell phone to prove I mean it!!!

Animals ask for so little. A little food. A place to sleep. And a little love.

Is that so much to give? For some people, sadly yes.

I once worked with a woman executive. She had a great position, was bright and intelligent. She wore expensive clothes and jewels. And she had a wonderful if sometimes biting sense of humor. I used to look up to her as some one to emulate.

That is till I saw how she treated her dog. We had been to a late night meeting and we were getting ready to go to a late dinner. I was car-pooling with her. She stopped by her house to get some money. Her dog was in the enclosed patio and jumped for joy and began barking when she walked in the door. She yelled at him to, “SHUT-UP.” She did not say hi, go to pet it, or even let it outside so he could relive himself. Just shut up you bothersome dog.

This dog was not abused. But it still was not treated correctly.

At the time I had a little 6 ounce ball of fluff of a parakeet named Sparky who had more personality than many people I knew. When I got home he always greeted me with chirps and singing. He used to jump around the cage in welcome. When I got home I always spent time with him talking to him and playing with him to help relive the loneliness of a day spent alone. No matter what kind of mood I was in Sparky was there to cheer me and make me laugh. 

He gave love unconditionally.

All of this leads me to this. I know all More Thyme readers already treat their pets according to the following. But wouldn’t it be nice if all pet owners did? I wish there was a way to get this into the hands of anyone who has a pet.

The Ten Commandments From a Pet’s Point of View

1. My life is likely to last 10-15 years; any separation from you will be painful for me. Remember that before you buy me.

2. Give me time to understand what you want from me; don’t be impatient, short-tempered, or irritable.

3. Place your trust in me and I will always trust you back. Respect is earned not given as an inalienable right.

4. Don’t be angry with me for long and don’t lock me up as punishment; I am not capable of understanding why. I only know I have been rejected. You have your work, entertainment, and friends, but I only have you.

5. Talk to me sometimes. Even if I don’t understand your words, I do understand your voice and your tone. You only have to look at my tail.

6. Be aware that however you treat me, I’ll never forget it, and if it’s cruel, it may affect me forever.

7. Please don’t hit me. I can’t hit back, but I can bite and scratch, and I really don’t ever want to do that.

8. Before you scold me for being uncooperative, obstinate, or lazy, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I’m not getting the right foods or I’ve been out in the sun too long, or my heart is getting old and weak. It may be I am just dog-tired.

9. Take care of me when I get old. You too will grow old and may also need love, care, comfort, and attention.

10. Go with me on difficult journeys, especially that last ultimaye journey. Never say, “I can’t bear to watch” or “Let it happen in my absence”. Everything is easier for me if you are there. Remember, regardless of what you do, I will always love you.

© Stan Rawlinson 1993

This article was written by ©Stan Rawlinson (The Original Doglistener.)  A professional full time Dog Behaviourist and Obedience Trainer. You can visit his website at for more articles and training information.

Featured Recipe         Potato Salad with Lemon Dressing

Everybody loves potato salad. Don’t they? I do now, but as I child I did not like it because of the mayonnaise. So I did not eat it. I don’t care for a lot of mayonnaise now either. But I do like potato salad today.

But as I often do, I digress.

I especially like no-mayonnaise potato salads. I think everybody and his mother’s uncle has a recipe similar to this one. There are dozens of different versions. I have had this one for years and have no clue as to where it came from.

I remember making it once for a July 4th picnic and I used red potatoes, small white potatoes, and those little purple/blue potatoes too. I called it my All American, 4th of July, Red, White and Blue Potato Salad. I am always doing something artsy-craftsy like that. It is the teacher in me and I can’t help myself. Well, I could, but I don’t want to.

Cold Vs Warm

When I first made this recipe it was a cold potato salad. It was an alternative to regular potato salad. We made it for hot summer days and picnics because it would not spoil as quickly as mayo potato salads would.

Nowadays it seems to be a potato salad to be eaten warm. I have never eaten it that way. I always cool the potatoes first.

But no matter how you serve it, this potato salad  is as perfect for a formal Sunday dinner as it is for a casual picnic.

This is what you will need for 3 people: 

About 1 pound new or small potatoes

1-2 cloves of garlic

1 lemon

1 heaping teaspoon country Dijon mustard

2-3 tablespoons olive oil

4-5 green onions

Salt and pepper to taste


NOTE: The recipe can be doubled, even tripled for a crowd.

Here is what you do:

Wash the potatoes. Wash the lemon too, as you will be using the peel.

Put the lid on the pot and steam the potatoes until they are crisp tender. This will take about 10-20 minutes depending on size. In fact, you can take them out of the pan just a few minutes before completely cooked, as they will continue to cook once out of the steaming basket.

I check the potatoes several times during the steaming process. I just use a toothpick to check. I have the latest and most high tech gadgets out there!!!

High Tech Gadget to Check Doneness

Run the garlic through a press into a bowl.

Zest the lemon………

And add it to the bowl with the garlic.

Squeeze the lemon. I do not have a gadget to squeeze the lemon. I just use my hands and brute force. I usually get plenty of juice this way. Another of those ultra-modern high-tech gadgets!

LEMON TIPS: The heaviest lemons are usually the juiciest. People must think I am nuts at the grocery store for picking up so many lemons. Then I also put the lemon in the microwave for about 6 or 7 seconds. The warmer the lemon the more juice it will give up. I got quite a bit from this small one.

Now add the lemon juice, a heaping teaspoon of the mustard, and salt and pepper to taste to the bowl.

Add 1-2 tablespoons olive oil and whisk until emulsified. If you need more olive oil add the other tablespoon and whisk again.

Clean and slice the green onions as small as you can. Set aside.

When the potatoes are cooked remove from the steamer and allow them to cool completely; unless you want to eat it warm. See explanation above, under the heading Cold Vs Warm.

When the potatoes are cool cut them into halves or quarters.

Place them in a bowl and pour the dressing over them. Then sprinkle the green onions over the potatoes.

Can be served with any meal.

Bon Appetit!!!!


About 1 pound new potatoes             $1.65

1-2 cloves of garlic                           $0.09

1 lemon                                           $0.63

1 tspn country Dijon mustard             $0.15

2-3 tablespoons olive oil                    $1.05

4-5 green onions                              $0.36

Salt and pepper to taste

Total cost = $3.93*
Cost per person = $1.31*

*You can begin to see the effects of higher grocery costs in this Cost Analysis. Olive oil is more expensive, as are lemons.

Quote of the Day

We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.

Immanual Kant

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3 comments to Pet Ten Commandments

  • LHunter

    Those 10 Commandments are wonderful. It is a shame they could not be posted in every animal shelter or pet store in the country.

  • […] This dish is perfect served cold for midnight snacking, to take to work for lunch, or to go on a picnic as well. If you use it for a picnic this potato salad is a perfect go with: Potato Salad with Lemon Dressing […]

  • Sadly I don’t think list of commandments would do much to change those with such inherent evil that they abuse animals. I think if you love animals, especially those that we have domesticated for our pleasure, you don’t need to be told how to care for them or how dependent they are on us. I’m looking at my sweet pup now; she has never known a day of not being told how much she is loved and I simply can not imagine someone ever being mean to her.

    The same isn’t true for my daughter’s dog. We will never know the circumstances of Charlotte’s life before Lauren adopted her from the local shelter when she was about two, but we know it wasn’t good. Still, despite her fear of men in general and her tendency to cower and yes, snap; that dog is the most loving creature. It is as if she looks at those that love her with a different appreciation than Abbie will ever have. Maybe not more love but you can tell; we rescued her and she never seems to forget that. It took 2 years of constant love and attention to start to see a change but a change has come and she is happy and well adjusted and much more confident of her place in our lives. Still I will never forget that someone was so mean to her that it affected her that strongly…yes, that person deserves a very special place in hell!