Tuesday, 15 May 2012
Is it me or is it you?
I am often labelled as 'shy' by pub customers. Blamed for not appreciating their caresses.
But what these people don't seem to realise is that what they see as caresses, I see as clumsy, oafish and even at times aggressive attacks on my person.
Yes, yes, I know that dogs are supposed to be 'bomb-proof', taking every little slight you people throw at us but, other dogs aside, I am not a machine.
So, for those of you not in the know, and don't have the excuse as Thing, sorry, Felix, does of natural ignorance, we will start here.
1. If you wish to be introduced to me, maybe because you like the look of me, or you are missing your own dogs, please ask my owner who is almost certainly nearby. If they are not, wait until they are. I don't know you. You could be after my soft silky coat or my cute spaniel ears to make into a handbag. The point is I don't know.
2. Once you have permission, please be polite. Hold out your hand (no contact!) so that I can choose whether to get to know you or not. Please do not be offended if I decide not. I might be tired, or poorly, or just plain not in the mood. I am not a toy to be played with whenever you want.
3. If I sniff your hand and don't retract, you may try a nice gentle rub under the chin, or on my chest if I am sat up. I may then decide that's enough, or ask for more. This can include rolling over, in which case scratching my tummy would be a delightful way of celebrating our new relationship.
4. If I come up to you and sniff your legs, please let me get on with it. I don't need help doing this, I am an expert. I will not pee on you. Probably.
5. Wagging tails are not a reliable sign that I am pleased to see you. I might be wary of something or signalling to my owner. If you get big tail wags with a massively wiggling body, however, you can be fairly sure I am targeting you for some special spaniel love.
6. Do not touch my head or ears or paws (unless we are getting on famously and I give you a paw to feel). Just don't. It's rude unless I know and trust you very well. Also please don't loom over me suddenly, or touch me when I'm asleep, or give me a swipe, sorry, a 'pat' as you're passing my chair. I won't be expecting it and you may as well hold up a sign saying 'Oy! Spaniel! Lets take it outside!'.
I would like to reiterate I am not shy, or unfriendly. I am just a regular (well, quite special) guy who likes things to be done right. I will reward you with much love and attention if you get it right and I like you (I might just not, you never know, do you like everyone you meet?).
Now, how do I go about teaching this to the Thing?