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Party Manners Practice

Our friends Jim and Kristin said okay to Danny’s coming to their Super Bowl party yesterday. They have one cat who is afraid of everything — she spent the party under the covers on the bed with the door shut — and one cat who loves dogs and babies. We had plans in place should anything go wrong, including their fenced-in backyard.

We brought Danny over a bit early, so he wouldn’t be overwhelmed by a house full of people. The dog-loving cat chased him around the house, which is nothing new for Danny. We were mostly gathered in the kitchen around the food (duh), so Danny eventually joined us there. I had a pocket full of treats and would ask him to sit, shake, down, or high-five, which he did every time. Good dog.

What Danny didn’t do was settle down. He was quietly but quickly panting for about an hour, even after I let him outside to work off some of his anxiety. It was just too much — new house, new people, new smells. I walked him home and gave him dinner, then went back for the rest of the game.

It was probably best to start small and not expect him to stay for the whole three hours or whatever it takes to play a game that should, by the clock they use on the field, take an hour. I also could have taken him downstairs, where it was darker, people were all seated, and there was carpet on the floor for more comfortable settling.

But, for a first party, he did fine. Not much begging, no jumping, no barking. And really, he only begged from me. I had the treats.

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