Stores aren’t the only place to have greeters, a person who stands at the entrance and says “hi!” in a chipper voice if you put a toe over the threshold.
Our home has a greeter too: Pettigrew appointed himself to this role.
He’s the first to respond when the doorbell chimes.
Once the door is cracked, he wiggles his body through to see who’s there.
This leaves me with five unappealing options:
- Open a sliver of the door, put my eye to the crack, and ask the individuals on my front porch if they are OK with dogs.
- Alert the people on the front porch that Pettigrew is about to charge them…but really, he’s friendly!
- Open the door wide while sticking one leg out across Pettigrew’s chest as a barrier to prevent him from getting through. (I feel a bit like a circus clown balancing on one leg, and, I admit have gotten some pretty funny looks.)
- Bend over and hold Pettigrew’s collar while opening the door, forcing the person on my porch to look down to meet my eyes.
- Close the French doors and lock Pettigrew in the living room. Unable to perform his chosen duties, Pettigrew rebels by hurling his body at the doors and making them rattle. Needless-to-say, I don’t employ this strategy any more.
I haven’t found the right solution yet. Yes, I know I could feed him treats to distract him. But really, who wants to keep hot dog tidbits by the front door?!
But, once we’ve made it past these initial hurtles, Pettigrew throws himself into his responsibilities. Circling around the newcomer’s legs. Following them from room to room. Encouraging visitors to stop, slow down, take a moment to pet him.
My son had a group of friends over last night and I saw the merits of Pettigrew’s hosting abilities. Some of our guests had never been to our house before. Some were feeling a bit shy.
But with a dog in the mix, there’s always a chance to get down on the floor to share some loving until you feel comfortable joining the group.
And if things get a bit touchy, there’s Pettigrew, coming in to smooth things over.
You don’t need to break bread together, petting a dog will do the trick just as well.