Christmas guests at Chez Buce this year included a puppy, a mongrel mutt; well, a sort of Jack Russell terrier with legs off a coffee table. Chez Buce is pretty much a dog-free zone and we weren't exactly enchanted with the idea of turning it into a venue for random peeing, but the owners are nice people so we figured we'd be civil and give it a bye.
Good news: the whole thing was an unqualified success. The dog was cheerful, friendly and, aside from a certain rambunctiousness (the bottoms of my feet will never be cleaner), entirely well-behaved. And did I mention that she never barked once.
Our thanks to the dog, of course, but I suppose it's worth noting how much this sort of thing is a compliment to the owner. We've all met dogs that need doggy psychiatrists, dogs who have doggie psychiatrists, and way too many dogs who operate as a channel to legitimatize their owner's inner beastliness. If bad doggie behavior reflects badly on the owners, then I think good doggie behavior should be recognized in the same way. Everything about this pooch bespeaks a family that is cheerful, warm-hearted, steady and relaxed. The pooch really lucked out, and I think she knows it. Heartiest congratulations all round.