Growing up, my two brothers and I were often excluded when our parents went to visit friends. But if the visit were to be with other family members, most likely we would be included. I think the rule was a simple one – if the friends had kids our age, we were included; otherwise not. In the case of aunts and uncles, there were always plenty of cousins around, and of course, grandparents were always welcoming of the whole family.
The same was true when friends and family visited us. If the visitors had kids, they came along, and if not, my brothers and I were expected to stay out of sight while the adults did their socializing. That made sense at the time and it still makes sense today – at least to me. I have not checked with Emily Post yet, but I will do that after finishing up here with my never-to-be-humble opinions.
Mom might have commented a time or two about “other people’s kids” and how they could get in the way, and there was no mistaking what that meant. What she could have said but didn’t, would have been to substitute the word “pets” for “kids” in that quote. She would not have said that because in those times it would never have occurred to either the “Guest” or the “Host” that a pet would even be considered in that equation.
I understand that times have changed, and people take alligators on airplanes, but those rules do not apply at Patchen. Having traveled quite a lot in Europe, I have slowly gotten used to the idea of dogs in restaurants, but the pot-belly-pig running around Nonno’s pizza joint in Redwood Estates was more than I could handle. For a more complete perspective, consider these examples and the summary table that follows.
Mellisa had a small dog named PJ that traveled with her on her frequent trips to the Bay Area. She never quite understood why we did not allow her to sleep in our guest room with PJ in the same bed, but she eventually got used to the idea that the dog needed to sleep in her car.
A close relative, one generation younger, asked if she could bring her dog to a family-friend-gathering. I responded by explaining how sure I was that the dog would be happier to “stay at home”. She brought the dog anyway, and she and the dog had a great time playing fetch-the-stick, while everyone else wished THEY had “stayed at home”. That was the dog’s last visit and unfortunately also the relative’s last visit.
A family member, having been bitten by her own dog a day or two prior, had previously been invited to a Holiday gathering at Patchen. When I declared that the vicious dog was not welcome at the event, she decided to stay at home with the dog instead of attending the event. One has to wonder if the dog appreciated her thoughtfulness.
Occasions arrive when taking a pet along on a visit might be in order, and asking ahead of time if the Host or the Host’s pets might appreciate having special visitors would be appropriate. The following table is helpful in handling such occasions and also serves as a summary guide to the old-fashioned[i]Emily Post seems not to have addressed the issue directly and we are a few decades too late to ask her directly. “leave your pet at home” method of socializing. Be aware that this method might not fit every situation in this 21st Century.
Written: September 2022
Published: September 2022
Reader feedback always appreciated[ii]thoughtful commentary perhaps more so than shallow thoughts
|↑i||Emily Post seems not to have addressed the issue directly and we are a few decades too late to ask her directly.|
|↑ii||thoughtful commentary perhaps more so than shallow thoughts|