Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Eenie meenie chili beanie, the spirits are about to speak.
I'm not even at the end of my driveway and there she is, that lady with the big dogs. They're going wild, barking and lunging forward, and she's yelling at me.  "Hi!" she calls from across the street.  "Does your dog wanna play with my dogs?"  And now Dusty is going wild, barking and lunging forward.  "Uh, no," I say.  Dusty gives me a look.  What's wrong with me?  Of course he wants to play.  He's a dog.  He doesn't care if things get out of hand.  "Why not?" the lady calls.  There's so much barking and growling, I can barely hear her.  I can't think of a good answer, other than, "Go away," so I say nothing.  Maybe she'll get the message.  She doesn't. "Wossamotta?" she asks.  "Why doesn't your dog wanna play with my dogs?"  "It's, just..." my voice trails off.  Hers revs up again.  "You know, they played with your neighbor's dog the other day and they all had a good time."  What is the etiquette here? Do I tell her, nicely, she's a pain in the butt, stop asking me the same thing every time I see her?  Do I tell her I'm not letting her dogs anywhere near my precious 9 year old pup?  I don't.  I try this, instead.  I pull out an old excuse I haven't used in at least 17 years, a standard from the preschool era, when the youngest was three.  Moms would call, dangling invitations, and he'd never want to go anywhere.  Not to a birthday party.  Not to anything.  It could get awkward.  Over time, I figured out a nice way to say no thankie.  So I give it a shot now:  "I'm really sorry," I yell, over the bark-a-thon, "but my dog just doesn't do play dates.  He's very shy.  It's hard for him.   But maybe when he's a little older and can handle it."  With that, I hurry down the street, tugging on Dusty's leash, hoping that settles it, and she'll never bother us again.  But I know she will.  I know there's another "Wossamotta?"in my near future. 


  1. I just always say that my dog is a rescue & is bad with other dogs. Then they say "ohhhhh" & leave me the heck alone.