I will just come right out with it - I am a dog person. I won't even deny it if you ask me in front of my three cats. We had a dog since I was 3 years old, not the same dog, but always a small dog. We had a beagle when I was 18 months old, apparently. I've seen the pictures but I don't remember him. We had to give him away because he kept knocking me down. I'm sure that would have stopped as I got bigger, but we got smaller dogs after that. Toy poodle, then a mixed terrier that we had until I went to college and brought her with me. She was even in my first apartment.
When she had to be put down due to old age, I got a cat, and we've been masquerading as cat people ever since. But deep down inside, I am a dog person. So I have been teaching Little M the proper way to approach a greet dogs that we come across in public.
Every time we hear a dog barking or see a dog when we're out riding the bike or walking, he asks if we can say hi. If it's in a house, the answer is usually no. But if we're walking, I'll tell him that we have to ask if we can pet the dog, then we hold out our hand to let the dog smell it, then we can pet the dog gently.
It's been awhile since we've been out walking and had this conversation, but we're at our friend's house today with their black lab and the minute we walk in the door the dog comes bounding over to us and Little M panics. "Up! Up!" So I pick him up in my already full arms, and poor Ben gets relegated to the other side of the baby gate for the next hour or so.
Then we're done with lunch, and Little M has warmed up to Ben, bringing over the xylophone to show off his mad skills. Then his friend E opens the door where Ben is being confined, and Little M says to E's Mommy, "May I pet Ben?" and waits for permission.
E's Mommy makes Ben lie down. Then Little M holds out his hand and lets Ben smell it, at which point Ben licks it, making him giggle. Then I think Little M got enamored with something else and he abandoned the whole petting endeavor.
But I felt SO completely validated as a parent. I taught him how to do something, he listened, remembered, and executed it flawlessly! It almost makes me want to teach him about drugs and the dangers of texting while driving while he's listening and doing what I tell him! But I do have to know my audience, and he was totally interested in the dogs topic.
It was just freaking amazing to watch, though. And makes me feel better about the fact that it took him two months to forget that I also taught him to say, "God Damnit!"