Cancel Culture

cancelled dogChester cancelled Pettigrew.

I know that’s harsh to say; but, unfortunately, it’s true.

And, like so many of these types of situations, it all started with a simple misunderstanding.

When we used to run into each other on our jaunts about town, the two dogs would happily greet each other. Tails wagging vigorously. Busy circling and sniffing each other. Never seeming to be able to get quite enough.

But on the fateful day, we caught up with Chester just as he was sitting at the corner in preparation for crossing the street.

Pettigrew, who lives by a more loosey goosey set of rules and never sits prior to crossing, didn’t recognize what was happening and rushed over to greet his old friend.

And that was it. Chester was thrown into internal turmoil. On the one hand, he knew he must sit at corners. On the other, here was his friend circling, tail wagging, sniffing.

Sitting won.

And, as is true in so many aspects of life, Chester didn’t acknowledge Pettigrew’s ignorance of the rules in Chester’s household. He didn’t make exception for their long-standing friendship. Instead, he blamed Pettigrew for creating a problem. One that, apparently, was unforgiveable.

Although, for many months, Pettigrew continued to try to renew their friendship; for Chester, an unforgiveable breach had occurred. Eventually, when Pettigrew failed to get the message, Chester took to barking and snapping when we approached.

We now cross the street when we see Chester coming our way.

It’s a loss, and all because of a misunderstanding. But I can’t claim that it’s that unusual. Whether we’re thinking of our four-footed or two-footed friends.

Benefit of the Doubt. Trust. Communication. My mantra this holiday season.

4 thoughts on “Cancel Culture

  1. Wow! I had no idea 1) a dog could be obedient like Chester when faced with such distraction, such as Pettigrew; and 2) that a dog would hold a grudge like Chester has been doing. I mean I’ve heard of dogs walking great distances when separated from their owners or continuing to wait for them after they’ve died, but I had no idea they were capable of that kind of emotion-driven behavior. Amazing! And sad. I feel bad for Pettigrew. Does he seem to recognize that Chester used to be a friend and now isn’t? Finally, 3) I had never heard of canceling used in this way. I’ve learned a lot.

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  2. Yes, I do think Pettigrew was confused for a long time about Chester’s behavior. He kept approaching expecting a friendly welcome and was rebuffed. We avoided Chester for a while and I don’t think Pettigrew thinks of him as a friend any more.

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