Who better to tell you about being a good dog than Bailey? He’s lived a lot of lives, and looked after and loved a lot of different humans. We at Forge were lucky enough to get some exclusive advice from the angel dog himself. So grab your dogs and read (or bark) aloud Bailey’s 8 Simple Rules for Being a Good Dog. After all, every human needs a dog―and every dog needs their human.
Also, get excited for the paperback release of A Dog’s Promise by W. Bruce Cameron, available now wherever books are sold!
Rule Number One: always listen to your human.
Sometimes a situation is just begging for you to run around and play, such as being outside in the day, or being inside in the day, or being somewhere at night. But then your human tells you to Sit or Stay. Yes, this is very strange to a dog, but in my many lives, I have learned that a good dog doesn’t question a person’s reasons for anything.
When you are listening to your human (Rule Number One!) you’ll hear things like Sit, Stay, Drop It, or Fetch. You are expected to know what to do. For example, Fetch means “it’s time to chase the ball and bring it back so you can chase it again!” (This works equally well for sticks, but not for something like cats.) But Stay means, “For some reason it’s not time to chase anything! Wait there for what will seem like forever!” Just learn to do what you’re told and everyone will know you’re a good dog, and you will get a treat.
Rule Number Three: Be the best dog you can be.
Your human won’t always know why you’re doing what you’re doing. “Humans can do amazing things, but they don’t always understand what is going on with dogs.” That is okay. Just keep being a dog, and they will love you.
Rule Number Four: Humans are confusing.
Sometimes humans are confusing. In one life, my boy had many friends and they were all very nice to me. “You can pet him, but please don’t give him any treats,” my boy often said. Yet despite saying the word “treats” over and over, no one ever gave me any. But if you want to be a good dog, you can’t get upset about such bizarre behavior. A lot of people don’t even carry treats with them!
Rule Number Five: “Some things happen that even a dog can’t fix.”
When a person goes away and does not ever come back, your humans will be sad, and they will want to sit and speak softly. They will not want dogs to try and cheer them up by dumping a squeaky toy in their laps. That is okay. Sometimes, the best thing a dog can do is just be there.
Rule Number Six: Don’t mark your territory inside.
Humans do not like it when you mark your territory inside their house. I think this is because it is their territory, even though they mark it differently. If you’re a big dog, you’ll notice that humans will mark in your water bowl.
Rule Number Seven: Don’t run away from a bath.
Baths may not be fun, but you should still let your human clean you. Otherwise, they will hold their noses and they will not cuddle with you—even if you have just rolled in something dead and smell wonderful!
Ruler Number Eight: Love your human.
Always remember: a dog’s ultimate purpose is to be with their people, and to love them. Do this, and you will be a good dog.
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