Sorry about all the poop: The 10 Commandments of your Dog.

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Bonus: Dog Whisperer videos teach you that your dog is the one teaching you.

~
Bonus: Don’t be sorry about Poop! Poop can Save the World!

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Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of Elephant Journal & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat.” Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword’s Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by “Greatist”, Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: “the mindful life” beyond the choir & to all those who didn’t know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, touches on modern relationships from a Buddhist point of view. His dream of 9 years, the Elephant “Ecosystem” will find a way to pay 1,000s of writers a month, helping reverse the tide of low-quality, unpaid writing & reading for free online.

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anonymous Apr 11, 2016 8:33pm

Beautiful Post. So true about politics who wNt a pet and don’t foresee the road ahead and years dedicated to a life that requires love, compassion, and, and proper caretaking. We must understand that adopting is the first option we should consider in a pet and in fairness, ensure we are ready for all aspects of the added family member not just a dog, but a family member. We would not treat ourselves or hopefully our human family the many ways our canine members are treated. If one is not ready or committed, wait and volunteer at a shelter, or even foster. My service dog is a rescue, was on the kill list, pulled just days from euthenization, treated for severe heartworm, trained at a woman’s high maximum prison, andnow is my service dog. I retired last year, a female Army Veteran who served almost 30 years. Despite my physical disabilities, my shelterdog not only serves me but is a joy to my family and all who meets him.

anonymous Feb 11, 2016 4:48am

This broke my heart 🙁
I lost my Dennis quite a few years ago and not a day goes by that I don’t think about him.

anonymous Apr 12, 2015 8:20pm

I have a roommate whose dog is getting very old, and her hips aren’t so good anymore. Sometimes she doesn’t want to get up, sometimes she wants to play until her hip goes out and she has to limp to her bed and rest. He’ll get mad at her for “not listening” to him when he calls her. It’s never more than yelling, but I have to constantly remind him that she is indeed old…she was always a very well-behaved dog, and her not coming to his call every time isn’t due to being disobedient….she’s just hurting.

anonymous Feb 24, 2014 11:10am

My dog of almost 15 years died last night. Reading this was been so healing and helpful as I honor his life. I keep reading it over and over through my tears. My dog very much resembles the dog in this picture. Thank you for sharing these beautiful Commandments.

anonymous Jan 30, 2014 1:13pm

look at those eyes

anonymous Jan 5, 2014 3:53am

I cried a lot whilst reading this, and then the lovely comments had me bawling for ages after I'd finished reading them.
Am now feeling bad for being frustrated with my dog this morning.
Warmest wishes to all of the people who have posted touching comments about their furry friends, and to dog lovers everywhere.

anonymous Nov 6, 2013 6:28pm

As an animal rescuer, I do wish that the first item said "before you ADOPT me," but otherwise, I loved it.

anonymous Oct 16, 2013 8:06pm

I watch my sweet girl Angel as a tumor grows on her beautiful face…in the middle of her snout, spreading across her face beneath her eyes…She still has an appetite, still wants to go on walks (though she turns us around to go home before long now). Still seems to experience (and certainly gives) happiness daily, and we share so much love. She doesn't "know" she has cancer—so no evident fear or angst about the process. But I know the time will come when she is visibly suffering. I know it that when it does come, I'll have to make the decision to help her leave this life, but it's unthinkable at the moment…because she's still here with me. Thanks to Roger, and all of the other commenters, for such beautiful heartfelt statements. This is something that all who have ever loved and said goodbye to a beloved pet can understand at such a deep level.

anonymous Nov 21, 2012 2:43pm

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anonymous Sep 17, 2012 11:14pm

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anonymous Jun 4, 2012 11:19pm

[…] Animals & Nature. Working with the earth—gardening. Hiking with your dog—nature, no wifi, no cell phone, just you and your (rescue?) dog. Unplug, literally. Leave your […]

anonymous May 22, 2012 10:45am

[…] “Dogs come when they are called; cats take a message and get back to you.” ~ Mary Bly […]

anonymous May 17, 2012 2:16pm

[…] […]

anonymous Apr 6, 2012 8:41pm

[…] If you want to learn about how to stay in the present moment, just watch your dog! […]

anonymous Mar 16, 2012 8:49am

My husband and step-daughter just put down 10 yr old Khujo after a battle with kidney disease..Thank you for posting..

anonymous Mar 12, 2012 11:54pm

I am loving reading all of these beautiful comments. It reminds me that we are all full of love and that is what we are. Blessings…

anonymous Mar 10, 2012 6:19pm

We helped our last guy pass some years ago. Of course it was heartbreaking, but we stayed present and loved him right through his transition, and it was so full of love and tears. We get to love them forever.

anonymous Mar 10, 2012 1:08pm

I'm glad I could find this post once again. I tucked it away in my mind for when the time would come. Kingdom would've turned 16 next month. I had a doctor come to my home to euthanize him yesterday. It was a peaceful passing and so filled with love. He was ready and conveyed it. He is sorry for all the poop — but so glad to have been part of my family. Thank you Waylon for posting this. – your fellow dog lover, Roger

anonymous Dec 26, 2011 11:30pm

my 17 year old is becoming very frail, is deaf and blind, has dementia, and it is sooo hard for me to "be" with it all…i know the time is coming where he will die, but i cannot bring myself to do it to him. i pray for his peaceful passing and that i have the strength to deal with it. i've had him since he was 6 weeks old and we've been through everything together. thanks for the article.

    anonymous Mar 10, 2012 6:22pm

    It's not something you do to him, it is for him. I was so worried I would not know when, that I would do it too soon, too late- but one day I looked at him and did know, we all knew, and it was right. I have great compassion for where you are at and encourage you to relax, and listen with your heart.

anonymous Dec 10, 2011 4:35pm

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anonymous Sep 17, 2011 7:38pm

AWW

anonymous Sep 17, 2011 4:27pm

Cried. I miss Buster…

anonymous Sep 12, 2011 12:26pm

So Heartwarming!

anonymous Sep 10, 2011 4:05pm

Lori. Yes this so works with a child or children in mind.

anonymous Sep 10, 2011 7:32am

If you think about it, many of these could apply to children as well…In fact, in many ways, animals have more rights to be treated "humanely" in our society than children – children who are just as dependent, if not more so, on their parents as pets are on their owners. Furthermore, (and without additional "metaphysical proof"), children do not have any choice in picking their parents, just as animals don't have any choice in picking their owners. If you are a parent, you may want to ask yourself, if your child could fend for itself out in the wild, like a dog or cat might, would they run away from you? When they are no longer dependent on you and can live on their own, do you think they will voluntarily choose to relate with you, or will they seek to avoid you?

anonymous Sep 10, 2011 6:26am

this posting made me cry!
Very touching, and the look of this dog is priceless.

anonymous Sep 9, 2011 7:08pm

This needs to be a poster. Thank you. I stayed with my Lucky-Girl until the very end. Held her as she passed on. Was the hardest thing I have ever done. This affirmed it was the right decision. She was my canine soul mate. Honestly, I think our dogs teach us a hell of a lot about humanity.

anonymous Sep 9, 2011 1:24pm

Our blind, nearly 12 year old lab Arlo is such a lover. Tears now and love now too- while we have time.

anonymous Sep 9, 2011 1:02pm

Thanks for this, my 15+ yo Golden left us last week. We were there with her, she was loved and she loved us.

anonymous Sep 9, 2011 11:47am

Loooove it. Cried happy tears. Xo

anonymous Sep 9, 2011 12:10am

I. so. needed. to. see. this. right. now.

My 15 year old geriatric pal Kingdom is on his last legs.

Grieving already.

    anonymous Sep 9, 2011 8:03am

    Roger, I'm praying for you. May God bless and strengthen you. I love animals and consider them part of the family, so I know how you are feeling.

    anonymous Sep 12, 2011 11:13am

    It is so hard … love and peace to you and Kingdom.

    anonymous Sep 12, 2011 2:18pm

    Roger, Very sorry to hear. It's very sad to lose a dog-pal. My heart is with you.

    anonymous Sep 17, 2011 6:36pm

    Oh, Roger. You are an example of why I am creating my own Pet Loss Support Group. You will be in my prayerful thoughts. Take care of yourself.

    anonymous Sep 26, 2011 4:16pm

    i know your pain Roger!!!!!!!!!!!!!! enjoy and savor every moment. you have the incredible gift from him to get the full picture of tansitional life passing to death. so you are prepared when you experience your own passing.

anonymous Dec 29, 2011 9:19am

god bless you i too have my dog for 15 years and 16 xmas;s he is blind and deaf and he is still lovably with me he knows going to bed and beinging in it with me i feel so strong that i must honer him as he has and still is the most lovable easy goin lhasa apso i ever had i must treat him as a little prince and all i ask is he goes first as he wold be lost without me it is difficult to find someone to watch him as i do,its a lot to ask of someoneone and god must have found you .i also do reiki it appears to work. you are an angel

Andre Hartzenberg Nov 19, 2017 8:07am

Remember, your dog cannot think like you do. he loves you and love shelter and food is all he wants. You chose him, not vice versa. He is your resonsibility and he wants to protect and loves you. You owe him a good upbringing and you will reap the benefits and pleasure fom your efforts. be patient...he is a dog, driven by God's given instinct