Recently, my hubby and I had a couple stop by for a dance lesson through our in-home business, Two Right Feet Dance. They were both personable and funny at first, but then something changed. Our four Westies came to greet them at the door, as is their custom, and I perceived a subtle shift in the energy around the guy. He made some scoffing remarks about the dogs, supposedly in jest but not quite making it. Then he actually growled at them! (When scheduling them, I asked specifically if they had allergies or just didn’t like dogs so we could be sure and have them outside when the people arrived. I was told they were fine around dogs.)

Ambrose, Blanche and Keely pretty much ignored this, but our newest adoptee, Oliver, looked traumatized. He hung his head and looked like if he could have sunk into the floor, he would have. The guy then boasted about his effect on Oliver, “Look, he’s demoralized!”

The couple had come on a gift certificate, so their lesson was paid for already and I couldn’t boot his butt out of our house. But it made me slightly sick inside. I comforted poor Oliver and just said to the young man, “I can see you’re not much of an animal lover.”

His girlfriend said to me, “He hates my kitty, too.”

I couldn’t help thinking, “Swell. Yeah, lady, build your life with this guy! That’s a great idea.”

During the lesson, when he was just around us humans, the guy was all right if a tad bit sarcastic with his humor. But when he and his date were about to leave, again, he took on the “tone” with my dogs who were being nothing but friendly, not even jumping up on him.

I took my cues from Oliver’s response and bid him a hasty farewell. I know we did a good job on the lesson, but this is one person from whom I don’t seek repeat business.

Oliver is by far the most sensitive among our Westies, so it came as no surprise he’d pick up on the man’s animosity most intensely. It broke my heart to see him shrivel under that creepy human’s derisive remarks and growling. I really wanted to go alpha bitch on the nasty man, but, again, the business person in me had to bite my tongue, as he and his girlfriend would only be around the dogs for a couple of moments before going to our studio upstairs.

Nevertheless, I would never seek to have a friendship with someone with that kind of energy and who would be stinky enough to treat someone’s pets that way upon our first meeting. Talk about lacking social skills.

Don’t worry, Oliver. Mama won’t let that man back in to be mean to you ever again.

Oliver kisses his daddy

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