Friday, October 15, 2010

Sheldon and the Nervous Waiter

Yesterday I had a business lunch meeting and decided to bring Sheldon along. He is so accustomed to being with me all the time that I hated to leave him alone all day. I phoned ahead to the restaurant to be sure the patio would be open (it was). Sheldon pranced right on into Mimi's patio as if he owned the joint. My business colleagues arrived shortly and were thrilled to see Sheldon, more than me I think. Our server wasn't a dog person- I could tell. He kept a far distance from Sheldon as he greeted us and took our orders. I'm always a bit taken back when I meet someone who doesn't like animals. 

I understand that there are dog people and cat people, and some cat people really don't like dogs.  Some dog people really don't like cats. But I rarely meet someone who has a physical aversion to an animal. I don't expect everyone to LOVE animals like I do, but it just seems strange when someone reacts so oddly around a dog. Now, keep in mind I'm talking about a standard poodle, not a pit bull or rottweiler or one of those breeds of which some people are leery. Well anyway lunch was fine, and the server was pleasant enough but by the look on his face, his darting eyes and the physical distance he kept from Sheldon I knew he was uncomfortable. I held Sheldon close to me when I saw the server approach, out of courtesy. But now really, could Mr Sheldon really be all that scary??

10 comments:

"Lois Grebowski" said...

Not Sheldon! He's a happy guy!

My guess would be either an allergy or perhaps a bad experience with a different breed of dog. For the longest time I was scared of dogs because of a childhood incident.

Jeni said...

For those of us who love dogs and cats, it really is hard to fathom when we encounter people who don't like animals or sometimes, who have a terrible fear of them for whatever reason. Our little mutt here, Sammy, is ultra-friendly. Barks like crazy at anyone who comes to the door and I know, sometimes, if it is someone who isn't a pet lover, that they might be taken aback by his noise but with him, that's all it is -noise. We joke and call him "Sam Vicious" (instead of Sid Vicious, ya know). It's hard at times to get Sammy NOT to make a nuisance of himself if people stop in here as he is so overly friendly -usually takes a few minutes (and a few reprimands too) till he will finally settle down and leave visitors alone. But, by the reactions of those folks to him, one can usually tell who really is a dog person and who is not too.

Jeni said...

For those of us who love dogs and cats, it really is hard to fathom when we encounter people who don't like animals or sometimes, who have a terrible fear of them for whatever reason. Our little mutt here, Sammy, is ultra-friendly. Barks like crazy at anyone who comes to the door and I know, sometimes, if it is someone who isn't a pet lover, that they might be taken aback by his noise but with him, that's all it is -noise. We joke and call him "Sam Vicious" (instead of Sid Vicious, ya know). It's hard at times to get Sammy NOT to make a nuisance of himself if people stop in here as he is so overly friendly -usually takes a few minutes (and a few reprimands too) till he will finally settle down and leave visitors alone. But, by the reactions of those folks to him, one can usually tell who really is a dog person and who is not too.

grace said...

Some people are very funny when it comes to dogs. I always wonder where it stems from? some past experience? something from their childhood?

© Karelian Blonde said...

There probably is a reason behind this waiters behavior. We are but many, but it is very baffling...?

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Your server may have had a bad experience with a dog--maybe he was bitten or something....When I was in the South of France Waaaaay back when, one of the things I loved seeing was that people brought their dogs into restaurants there. I had NEVER seen that here--at least up to that time....And it was quite marvelous. The dogs were always very well behaved---no begging for food or anything like that. It's nice to hear that you were able to bring Sheldon to the Patio....!

kenju said...

I have cats, but until about 15 years ago, I have had a dog constantly since childhood. I can't understand anyone being afraid of a poodle, unless the poodle showed signs of aggression.

KathyA said...

We are animal people in general, so I know what you're saying about those who aren't. I talked to every dog, cat, horse, goat, whatever (even at the Wild Animal Park) I meet and I believe they understand me. I think a lot of people are scared of animals and instead of respecting and honoring their unpredictability, the people avoid animals. I hope Sheldon's feelings weren't hurt!

Sharon said...

That server likely once had a bad experience with a dog. After I was bit by a dog it took me a long time before I felt comfortable around them - and I LOVE dogs. So I can honestly understand people being wary around dogs they aren't familiar with, even if it is a gentle breed like Sheldon's.

Kanani said...

A few years ago, when my daughter was 7, she befriended a girl at summer camp. Turns out, the girl had a huge fear of dogs. It was real, and from what I can tell was based partly on being scared by a dog when younger, but was also used as kind of a means of gaining attention. It was all she could talk about, and her parents did too.

We had 2 dogs at the time. So over the course of a few months, I'd pick up the girl, and tell her what to expect when she came over. "The dogs will want to sniff you. They might come up to you and want to even follow you around. But ignore them, and go on your way. You will be fine and they have to know you're the boss." I repeated this over and over again, helping to ease the situation. Now, she's not afraid of dogs so much, even loves mine.

But I think there are people who--for whatever reasons, are wary of dogs because they don't understand them.

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