Sunday, February 1, 2009

The "Declaration of Dog"

Let be known, throughout the land, from near and from far, that this is, heretofore, the Declaration of Dog. I make this declaration without duress and of sound mind and soul. I have chosen to make this declaration, and as Camden and Hadley are my witness: I do solemnly swear that:
  1. I recognize that owning a dog is a life-changing commitment. A dog requires constant attention and care. I promise to give all of the attention that a dog requires.
  2. I acknowledge that owning a dog can be expensive. Not only must you purchase food, but the dog requires equipment (leashes, crates, toys, food bowls), and frequent visits to the vet.
  3. I promise to buy the proper food for the dog, and adjust the food based on the nutritional needs of the dog.
  4. I am aware that a dog will cost significant money at the vet, even for routine vaccinations and care. If there is anything wrong, a dog may cost us much more money. I promise to evaluate the cost of pet insurance to see if it makes financial sense.
  5. I promise to properly register my dog with the town in which we reside (currently Natick) and pay any local, state. or Federal taxes associated with the dog.
  6. I promise to wake up in the morning earlier that I currently rise in order to feed and walk the dog.
  7. I know that a dog requires at least two (2) significant walks per day. A significant walk is defined as at least 15 minutes in duration. I promise to be the primary person who takes the dog on two (2) significant walks per day. I will be appreciative if Jessica takes the dog on any walks.
  8. I promise to be a good citizen and pick after my dog (regardless of how icky it is). I acknowledge that there are local and state laws that require me to pick up after my dog.
  9. I will make a concerted effort to socialize the dog with other dogs by going to dog parks in our area.
  10. I recognize that a dog can travel in the car when we leave the house. I will make every effort to take the dog with us whenever possible.
  11. I will take the dog on long hikes when the weather is nice.
  12. I know that the dog will also want to go outside (in the side yard), and I promise to be aware of the dog's needs. I promise to frequently pick up after the dog in the side yard, regardless of how icky it is.
  13. A dog requires significant training. I promise to take the dog to obedience class to improve any behavioral issues. I recognize that my dog may have significant behavioral issues, that are beyond my skill and abilities. I promise to seek the advice and expertise of a professional if needed.
  14. I recognize that bringing a dog into the home will cause a significant disruption for Camden and Hadley. I promise to work very hard to carefully introduce the dog into our home. As we have seen on the Cesar Milan show, our goal is to have the dog be submissive to the cats. I promise to work hard to make Camden and Hadley still feel like they own the house.
  15. Although we will own a dog, that does NOT mean that we will change our policy of allowing other dogs into our home. I recognize that allowing other dogs into our home will not only put undue stress on our cats but will also increase the potential for fur and mess.
  16. A dog is NOT allowed: a) on the bed b) on any couches or c) on or near any furniture deemed inappropriate by Jessica
  17. I promise to work hard at keeping a fur free house. This includes vacuuming frequently to remove any dog hair whereever it may be in the house.
  18. I recognize that I must also take care of the dog during the work day. My intention is to bring the dog to my office. If I do not (or can not) take the dog to the office, I promise to make arrangements to have the dog taken care of during the day until the point at which the dog is able to stay at home for the entire day.
  19. I promise to take precautions to protect the seats of our cars to reduce any damage done by the dog.
  20. I promise to groom and bathe the dog on an as-needed basis. I will take the dog to a professional groomer periodically, as-needed.
  21. Luckily for us, our friend Dan C. runs a pet care business called Newton Pet Care. I have spoken with Dan about boarding our dog in the future, and he has not hesitated to say that he is willing to take care of our dog while we are away. Dan has repeatedly told me that for us his services will be free (I will try very hard to get him to accept some money from us). Regardless, I promise to to be willing to pay the costs of boarding the dog in any scenario.
  22. When I travel for business, I recognize that this will be an undue burden on Jessica to care for the dog. If Jessica does not wish to care for the dog while I am away, I promise to be willing to pay the cost of boarding the dog.
  23. I acknowledge that this declaration may be missing key clauses. I promise to let Jessica arbitrate anything that this declaration has missed.
This is my "Declaration of Dog." Let it be read near and far. Let it be sealed in my promise to adhere to this declaration to the best of my abilities.

And so it is written.

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