That’d be a social filter for me. It might not be the best course of action, but I find that I have less and less desire to go places where my dog isn’t welcome. Shopping at the Farmers market becomes preferable to the supermarket. Eddie Bauer welcomes dogs, LL Bean does not; I find myself at EB a lot more often than I used to.
And people. If people don’t welcome the dog, it just isn’t as much fun at their house. Recently Chico met a small child who is terrified of dogs. When this girl saw Chico come in the house, she started to scream in fear. And Chico’s response was to run and hide behind me, but it didn’t matter to the child.
And when the baby is upset, the parents are upset. And I am unhappy.
When Chico lived with my sister’s family, there was, well, a family. I live alone and if Chico can’t come with me, he’s going to spend a lot of time home, alone. And I have always believed that is no life for a dog. Through the mists of time, back to whenever canines first joined up with humans, the whole relationship has been based on the canine tagging along and helping with what the humans were doing.
My job has been to make Chico the kind of dog that can go anywhere with me. He’s getting there. He isn’t perfect in all situations, but I’m so pleased with his progress, and his willingness to master new challenges, I’ve grown quite fond of expanding his horizons.
Of course, since this is a public introspection, let’s not forget to consider that I am a bit of an introvert, not always so comfortable in groups, and perhaps I’m just using the dog as an excuse. I’m an “overthinker” so when I’m done pondering all this, I’ll post any conclusions I come up with.