Two issues ago, I asked my readers to help me address some issues surrounding dog (and dog owner) etiquette. I got some great feedback!
Dear L.A.Plume,I feel compelled to state up front that I am a dog lover. Having said that, I am not a lover of dogs being brought everywhere their owners go. (I am not a fan of children going to every function either, but that’s another story!)
When did my peers (middle-aged people) become so besotted with their pets? Is it part of the empty nest syndrome? I like unconditional love and devotion as much as the next gal, but honestly – learn to communicate with your peers not just your pets!
When faced with the guest with pet problem I have found direct communication works best… as in “please know that my dinner party is for humans only, better leave Fido at home this evening”.
My pet peeve? Baby talk directed at a canine. Oh well, if only all of life’s problems were this easily solved! Thanks for an entertaining column.
Dear L.A. Plume,
I love dogs and have always had one or two dogs since childhood. Regarding guests who don’t like dogs or are allergic to them, they should be given the names of several nearby hotels that they can stay in during their visit. Don’t expect me to put my dogs in a kennel; my house is my dogs’ house too. I put my dogs in a bedroom when dinner guests are here but I won’t do that for extended visits. When I am visiting others, I would not think about taking my dog to their house unless they specifically invite the dog. It is just common sense (which apparently more and more people are lacking) to be a well-mannered and considerate guest when you are in someone else’s home. People who bring their handbag dogs to dinner, cocktail parties, etc. show gross disrespect to the host. Perhaps we are entering an era when an invitation must say, “No pets, please”. Of course, damage done by the pet should be repaired or replaced at the expense of the person bringing the pet. Failure to do that would lead to excluding that person from future invitations.
This is my approach,
Dear L.A. Plume,
I read your canine questions and I thought about it for a while, then I read them again and felt that I really would like to chime in. From the questions, I get a basic lack of respect and consideration for family members, friends, neighbors an the general human kind.
I have a very difficult time giving my thoughts on the mom who wants to come for 10 days, which I agree is too long. Unfortunately, I don’t think there is an easy way out of that one. Mom is not likely to change at this stage of life, and laying down the law is likely to do damage. My heart goes out to Cinee, that’s the epitome of a rock and a hard place.
As for the friend who suggests that Marianne ‘get rid of her dogs’, I have to wonder what kind of friend that person is. I was raised that guests are taken care of, but family comes first. We live in a time when our pets are our family. I was also raised that if I were a guest in someone’s home, that I would be a kind and considerate guest and displace my hosts as much as possible.
As for the pool hounds…. It is unfortunate that this situation is causing the pool owners time and money, and in a time when few of us have money to spare. I guess it would be nice for the neighbors to understand that their wanting to use their friend’s pool as the canine YMCA is only a benefit to them. I find it to be sadly selfish. Maybe explaining the situation in detail to them would help.
As a pet owner myself, I am appalled that someone would bring a pet of any size into another person’s home without prior permission. Really? Have we become that self-centered a society? I doubt there’s much that can be done about the damage to the carpet, since there’s virtually no way to prove who did it. I would probably not invite this person to another cocktail party, or if I did, I would make it clear that four legged friends were not invited.
I am left saddened by these letters. I hope people find their answers.
Dear L.A. Plume,
I’m no longer a dog owner, but I loved the ones I’ve had. That doesn’t mean I love yours! (I may not think much of your children, either… but I’m polite.) But if I invite YOU for dinner, I’m not including your kids, or a date, or your pets. If I want them, I’ll be specific. My cat, however, would be thrilled if you brought your pet mouse, whom you’d never see again. Care to try? Moral of the story: Be Considerate!