DEAR MISS MANNERS: There is a debate among a local group about the responsibilities of a dog owner when organizing an event in their home.
One faction says, “My dogs are part of my family, so they will interact with guests.” Another faction says, “As a host, your responsibility is to your guests first, so your dog must be in a kennel or outside.”
My own thinking is that our dogs are part of the family, but that we have a responsibility to train them in at least basic ways (such as “sit”, “down”, “stay” and “put down”). Also, if I invite someone over who hasn’t been to my home previously, it’s my responsibility to tell them about the dogs so they can decline if they have allergies or are uncomfortable around dogs.
I believe I understand my responsibilities as a dog owner, but I’m not sure of them as a host.
KIND READER: For Miss. Boas Maneiras, it seems that you have changed that: that is, that you know your responsibilities as a hostess (taking care of the comfort of your guests), but not those of having a pet (teaching good manners in the family).
Frisky is welcome to roam the house when guests you know are compatible with her are present. But there are also times and methods for managing interactions between family members and guests—many of which don’t leave anyone looking out the window with sad eyes as the rain pours down on them.
For example, you hope your spouse will reduce their fixation on devices to spend time with guests; you expect the kids to come down and say hello; and you don’t include your brother because he had a bad breakup with one of the guests 20 years ago. Neither you nor your family members interpret any of this as a denial of kinship.
Why, then, do so many pet owners feel that they question their relationship with Frisky putting her in the bedroom for a few hours with her food and water? She might prefer that to having to listen to her college roommate tell the same story over and over again.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: Some people ask permission to do something – and immediately do it anyway!
For example: asking if you can borrow a pen, already taking it. Ask if they can get a candy from a bowl and take one. Ask if they can pet a dog while leaning forward and touching the animal.
How can I ask them to actually wait for the answer instead of assuming I would say yes?
KIND READER: Although you have the right principle, Ms. Manners thinks how objectionable the behavior is depends on the question. And the normal rule that it’s rude to correct someone else’s behavior applies in any case.
But you asked how to stop this behavior, so she will tell you: respond quickly, with a warning that is likely to make the perpetrator stop immediately. “Careful, this pen leaks!” “That’s not candy, it’s a marble!” or “Careful, he bites!” all will do.
Please submit your questions to Miss Manners on her website, www.missmanners.com; to her email, email@example.com; or by mail to Miss Manners, Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.
#banish #family #member #dog