Home
Karen B. London
Print|Email|Text Size: ||
Social Gaffes
A consequence of adoring dogs
What can I say? I'm drawn to dogs.

I’m pretty sure that as a child, I offended some friends when I went to their houses to play and paid more attention to the dog than to anyone else. Though I’ve always been social with people, this is a gaffe I made repeatedly. I never meant to be rude. It’s just that the dogs were so captivating that I couldn’t help myself.

It wasn’t only in childhood that I attended to dogs first and foremost. While in grad school, my friends and I played cards regularly. One night, three of us drove together to the house of a couple with a new baby for a game. We made ourselves right at home, all heading to what interested us most. That meant Ethan headed to the refrigerator, Amy rushed to hold the baby, and I went over to their Lab cross for my doggy fix. That was typical, and we were all teased for our predictable behavior.

Now in my 40s, I’m far better at minding my manners, which is why I’m so embarrassed by a setback I had earlier this week. I noticed the dog first and then came to realize that there was a person with the dog, and what’s more, it was a person I knew. I should have greeted her right away and chatted a little bit before turning my attention to the dog. (In my defense, this dog was a Great Dane, which is my childhood breed, and I had no idea that my friend was fostering one. It’s a weak defense, but it’s all I’ve got!) It’s as if my heart said, “Ooh, what a marvelous dog!” and then there was a huge lag before my brain piped in, “Hey, there’s a person at the other end of that leash.”

Please tell me I am not alone! Have you ever been guilty of these sorts of social gaffes because of your adoration for dogs?

Print|Email

Karen B. London, PhD, is a Bark columnist and a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist specializing in the evaluation and treatment of serious behavior problems in the domestic dog.

More From The Bark

By
Karen B. London
By
Karen B. London
By
Karen B. London
More in Karen B. London:
Oh No You Didn’t
A Star is Born
Christmas Trees are Not Indoor Bathrooms
Outsmarted by a Puppy
Fun With a Dog on Live TV
Musical Instruments and Dog Breeds
Mornings With Puppies
Emotional Contagion
Woman’s Dogs Kill Beagle
If Only I Could Tell Them