DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have friends (a couple) who bring their dog with them everywhere, including to my house for dinner. On a few occasions, one half of the couple has “shared” some of the appetizers with their “best friend”; the second time around, I commented.
The remark was met with a chilly response. I feel that they can do as they please in their own house with their own food, but at my house, it’s out of line and rude. They also let the dog out for potty breaks, which I’m left to clean up the following day.
Am I being defensive? It is, after all, my home, and I am paying out-of-pocket to entertain. We do have fun, but the hound wasn’t invited to dinner; they were.
GENTLE READER: Invoke the children-at-weddings rule: “Yours are so well-behaved, but then everyone would want to bring theirs, and I am afraid that we are not equipped to accommodate dogs.”
Note that Miss Manners says nothing about the particulars of the dog’s behavior, the modifying of which is a losing battle. Much like the rule with children, better to make a blanket statement about their attendance and leave the specifics of how they are reared to their minders.