My Needs are Simple and Few!

My dear owner,

Thank you once again for giving me shelter. (Lick, slurp, lick, slurp) Aside from food, shelter and love, my needs are simple and few! Since I am dependent upon you to provide for me, we should discuss my basic needs. I can lend you the canine insight that you may lack as a human, particularly if I am your first canine companion pet.

Of course, I require a steady supply of food and fresh water, and while I long for the same quality of culinary delight that you routinely enjoy, I know that's an unrealistic expectation. As long as you feed me something that's nutritionally suited for my species, I'll happily devour whatever little morsels of people food you throw my way. I'm not particularly fond of that stuff that comes from the tap, but it'll do in a pinch. I draw the line at drinking from toilets.

Splish splash

In addition to my regular veterinary care, I'll need a flea and tick collar at a bare minimum. How would you like those critters crawling all over you? Please help me to prevent them from crawling on me.

If you want to show me off for company, how about you pick up some grooming aids so I can look my sexy best? I SO look forward to weekly shampoos. Who needs rubber duckies when you get to splash at humans at bath time? I understand that humans multitask, and I love those massages with the grooming gloves, so we could watch TV together while you give my coat a nightly massage. I cannot vacuum after myself (but maybe you could suggest that as an advanced course at obedience school), so you might want to pick up some of those hair pickup tools for yourself.

A bowl of my very own

I could use a doggie bowl or two, something simple, yet elegant, perhaps something with my name on it. It's not that I mind sharing your everyday bowls, but it would be nice to have something that's all mine when it comes to feeding and watering troughs. I'll need one for food and one for water, and an everyday pattern will suffice-no need for an expensive china pattern.

Collars and other jewelry

I look forward to our walks together, but it's just too tempting for me to stray when you walk me without a leash. I think the government suits must be on to us doggies, since they've enacted those pesky leash laws everywhere. So, if you want to continue spending this quality time with me, you'll need to find a leash that fits me properly, is strong enough to hold me, and is the proper length. If it's too long, I'll trip all over myself, but if it's not long enough, I won't have the room I need to roam. I know that there is a dizzying array of leashes available, but please use a little discretion and choose one with the right "look" for my breed so that all the other doggies don't make fun of me. They can be so darn cruel!

Creature comforts

I was told that most humans have jobs, so I understand that you'll be spending time away from me. If you could see your way clear to leaving a few creature comforts behind, it would really help. First, I don't want to hog your people furniture-it's too big for me anyway. I could use one of those nice, comfy doggie beds. Floors are meant to be walked on, not lounged upon. I know that there are a number of places that I should not go when you're gone, so spray that indoor repellent, and I'll learn the first time. I'm a quick study-something about Pavlov!

Dogs in toyland

Toys will help me pass the time, assist me in my development, and most importantly, distract me from the fact that you're not here. I could have some REAL fun if you'd get me my very own cat, but I realize that is not likely. Here is a list of things that I would really, really enjoy if you cannot get me my own cat:

- A nice supply of those rubber, chewy thingies

- Squishy, squeaky, talking toys

- Rawhide chews, dental chews, anything that I will mistake for a bone

- Treats, treats, and more treats ? a never-ending supply of treats

Special occasion gifts

You humans have your porches, your patios and your tree houses. I would give my doggie eye teeth for my very own dog house. You could have Santa deliver it in time for the holidays, or you save it for a birthday treat. Either way, it'll give me my own little hideaway and protect me from the elements, should you take temporary leave of your human senses and leave me outside while you run one of your many errands. If you can't swing the canine estate just yet, maybe we could negotiate a doggie door?

Above all, I require the same devotion and attention that you expect from me. Treat me right, and I'll be your best friend for life.

Love and kisses,

Your beloved doggie

M J Plaster is a successful author who provides information on shopping online for pet supplies and needs and treats for dogs. M J Plaster has been a commercial freelance writer for almost two decades, most recently specializing in home and garden, the low-carb lifestyle, investing, and anything that defines la dolce vita.

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