I think my children believe we live on a deserted island. Well, maybe that’s taking it a bit far, but whenever someone comes over they get more hyped than if I handed them the sugar jar and let them devour the entire five pounds of crystalline energy. Most of my friends and relatives live far away or, like me, have busy, bustling lives and coordinating schedules for visits requires monumental effort. So while not a weekly event, I HAVE invited people over. Although, in the years prior to my divorce, people rarely came over. My ex was not exactly Mr. Social. So, I suppose, the changes in our social life could cause some excitement.
When I met Soup King, little by little, we began having some of his friends come over for dinner, and sometimes play boardgames. Since he’s a guy, most of his friends that he hangs out with are male (not all, but most). I have boundless depths of sympathy for the men who have braved the gauntlet of my kids. For awhile they felt the need haze each new male friend by the interactive jungle gym experience. What’s that you ask? If the poor guy survived three not so tiny children climbing him, and successfully wrestled free with good humor, the children deemed him “fun”.
Then comes the EXAM! The subject under investigation must have at least passing knowledge of anime and computer/console gaming. If he can do martial arts, he’s proclaimed “awesome”, with the caveat that he may have to fight me and “Mom” can probably kick his butt. I generally protest being dragged into this process, and I probably could kick a few butts, but I save my roundhouse for those who deserve them. 😉
victim friend has passed their inspection, they revert to merely careening around the house like hyper maniacs, shrieking with joy at the person’s arrival, unless of course I made them clean. In which case, they sulk and complain about having people over and the horrors of cleaning.
Having a critter horde can also complicate a social life. I have one friend I’d love to have over, but she’s deathly allergic to cats. I have five: end of all possibilities of her ever visiting the house. Zeke is friendly, once he overcomes the innate skittish temperament inherent to many small dogs, and is given a few minutes to adjust to the fact that other people are in HIS house. Marble must be introduced in a controlled environment, and if it’s a lot of people or small children, I usually just put her in a room away from the activity. Her OCD need to protect the house and more specifically, me, can at times be a bit much. Millie, thankfully, is fine with just about everyone.
Now, toss in the variable of visiting critters which come WITH their owner! I dog-sat once before I had Zeke or Millie.
It took three days before Awen and Marble decided not to kill each other. Well, Marble really didn’t plan on killing her. She just pinned her to the ground with one paw and waited until Awen admitted her obvious superiority. Poor Awen sulked until Mama came back and rescued her from the mean alpha dog.
More recently, Red has come to visit with his owner, Mr. Comedian, as the kids have dubbed him.
Much to his owner’s credit, this dog is VERY well trained in spite of his bad start in life. Mr. Comedian adopted him from the Humane Society. His prior owners had lovingly allowed his chain collar to grow into his skin. Given his breed mix and abusive start in life, if not for the excellent training Mr. Comedian has given him, this gentle giant could have ended up being a nasty, ill-mannered dog. His instincts say “CHASE THE CAT!!!!” every time he happens to see one of my lot. Yet, he sits by his master or me when we tell him to while someone else removes the cat to another room. Smart kitties know to stay far away from the behemoth that has intruded upon their territory. Well, all but the kitten, who gets locked in the bathroom for the duration. She’d probably walk right up to him and bat at his tail.
Of course when he first arrives, this is my translation of what ensues:
Red: “Ooh, it’s the house with people and noms and dogs!” [tail wag]
Zeke: “OMG, OMG, OMG. ADOGADOGADOG! [Grr, bark, wag] It’s my kitchen, but want to play? My kitchen. Play? My kitchen. Play? OMG human TOOOO! Play?”
Marble: “Let me out of my crate. I will take you down, giant red intruder! MOM there’s a GUY IN HERE!!!! And a DOG!!!!!”
Red: [Looks at Marble and yawns.]
Marble: [whimper, bark] Please let me out? The giant dog might eat you. I know he’s twice my size, but I can totally take him. Please, please, please let me out.”
Zeke: [jumps around in his crate] My kitchen! Play? My kitchen! Play?
Zeke and Red have played together. Zeke tears around the yard while Red bounds a couple of steps and then just waits for Zeke to come back. At some point we’ll probably let Marble officially meet Red while both are on leash. Put that on my list of things that could give me a heart attack or earn a facepalm for stressing over nothing.