Friday, August 25, 2017

The importance of ritual

We had an interesting sequence of events here the other day.

One of Kubota's friends came over to visit him.  Redneck opened the door and started walking across the living room to the hall that leads to Kubota's bedroom.

Zeus, our younger German Shepherd nipped at his butt.

Redneck looked over at Mrs ERJ and said, "I don't know what is with that dog.  He always does that to me!"  implying that our dog was inherently unstable and perhaps even dangerous.  It is telling that Zeus only does that to Redneck.

Mrs ERJ replayed the sequence events over in her mind and then she told Redneck "Zeus knows that he is a watchdog.  You do not live here.  You did not knock on the door.  You did not wait for me to let you in.  You greeted neither one of us as you walked across the room toward the bedrooms.  What do you think a guard dog should do under those circumstances?"

Redneck responded with something like, "Well, I texted Kubota and he knew I was coming."

Mrs ERJ observed, "I guess Zeus did not read that text.  Next time knock when you come to the door and wait for me to let you in."

Frankly, I think Zeus showed a lot of restraint.  He nipped at Redneck's butt-cheek rather than ripping a chunk out of it.  Basically, Zeus was saying, "I am keeping an eye on you."

I wonder how many good dogs, dogs who were simply doing their jobs, have been put down because a guest ignored the common rituals of being greeted and welcomed into a home.

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