manners do not become a dog

Good manners: The noise you don’t make when you’re eating soup. Bennett Cerf


Comet cannot help himself.  He often wolfs down breakfast only to hack up a little, spraying some dog chow on the kitchen floor.  On walks he concentrates on peeing, often to the detriment of Dexter who is focused on a sniff, only for me to yank him out of a harm’s way: Comet is peeing directly over Dexter’s head.

Comet has no idea about personal space when he wants to crawl up into my lap or any lap.  He has no concept of relative size – his,  laps, or other breeds of dog.   (To be fair, Dexter is the one of the pair who has no reservation about shoving his head between a person’s legs to get his neck scratched.)

When I settle into my chair in the study,  intending to write in my blog,  Comet plops down into his dog cushion.   Then the slurping begins.   It cannot be anxiety, but probably a trick he has learned that works.  Comet craves attention and when he wants more attention, he starts working at his paw.

“Comet, stop.”

“COMET, stop!”

“COMET, darn it! STOPPPPPP!”

And sometimes it is the worst of times.   When my spouse and I want a little ‘private moment’,  it rarely occurs at home without one or both fellas at the corner of the bed, scratching at the closed bedroom door,  or in a pinch,  the barking madly at some unseen threat, dashing down the hall and out the back door.

This behavior modification usually works with my spouse.  Distraction comes by way of a biscuit,  or some general movement in the direction of the kitchen.  But I certainly hear my mother and grandmother’s voices ringing in my ears.  “Teach your children good manners, so they may dine with Presidents and Kings.”     Well,  I certainly don’t expect an invitation anytime soon.   We have far to go in the manners department not to mention the social circles we run in.

Manners,   where is some Ann Landers  advice, that I can relay to Comet. The “Dog Whisperer”, Cesar,  is very good for behavior issues for dogs, but what if my pals do not think they have a problem?


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