Etiquette & superstition: dogs


I would have gotten this post finished earlier, but there is a dude here wearing a gingham bowtie who keeps trying to get my attention. Oh, now he’s cleaning his feet. Maybe I can finally get this done.

ETIQUETTE: In Eleanor Roosevelt’s Book of Common Sense Etiquette (New York: Macmillan, 1962), Ms. Ellie suggests that a person new to a neighborhood, particularly an urban neighborhood, may use one’s pet dog as an ambassador and acquaintance maker, particularly to other dog owners. Once two pet dogs have become acquainted with one another and find each other agreeable, it is perfectly acceptable for one of the dog owners to extend a social invitation to the other dog owner. At this point, they know that at the very least they have a love of dogs in common. Ms. Roosevelt goes on to explain that walking a dog in public may garner friends even outside of dog-owner circles, as people loitering about parks are frequently interested in dogs and may start up a conversation with the owner. Of course, Mrs. Roosevelt was the widow of the only American president to serve three terms, and the dog she was walking was the beloved Fala (remember this when you are doing a crossword puzzle, folks), so your results may vary from hers. Perhaps you might want to try a bowtie.

SUPERSTITION: If you love dogs, you probably want to try a different cure for whooping cough or the measles than the following: place some strands of hair of the afflicted person between two pieces of bread and feed the sandwich to the dog. This will transfer the disease to the dog. Now your dog has whooping cough or measles. No, I have not yet found a superstition relating to a cure for canine whooping cough or measles, but I am working on it.

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