Ray… again!

I have written a number of Posts in which I have mentioned our habit (as a species) to openly ask questions about dogs we see out on our walks, but we never show any interest in the dogs owners. We know Buddy, Jasper, Huck and Zeus, but know little (if anything) about their owners.

Today we took Ray to a restaurant for the first time. This restaurant has an outdoor patio, and we know that they do not allow dogs on it (in accordance with a Province of Ontario ruling). We also know that one end of the patio consists of a metal railing which does not reach the building. In the gap between the end of the railing, and the building, is a giant plant pot filled with shrubs.

I went in and asked one of the staff if Ray would be allowed in the gap between the giant plant pot and the building (there was an empty table right next to it). She was a dog lover and had no problem whatsoever!

We sat down and got Ray organized and settled in his designated area. The lady who I spoke to came out to bring our menus and to meet Ray. “Oh what a gentle face. Boy or girl? What’s his name? Oh he’s gorgeous!”

We eventually placed our orders and, while we were having our meal, another lady came out to our table. “I just heard that we have a gorgeous dog out here, and I wanted to meet him. What’s his name? Oh he’s beautiful!”

Not long after that, we (or rather Ray) had another lady come and say “Hi” to him!

As is our habit now, when somebody wants to greet Ray, we let Ray initiate the greeting “Say hello Ray” after which he will get a treat. When the third person came out, Ray was trying to climb up onto a chair to greet them. “Oh he’s so cute! What a gorgeous dog! What’s his name?”

We had finished our meal and were just finishing off our coffees, when a fourth lady came out specifically to meet Ray! As is typical of our species, by the end of our time there, a good proportion of the staff knew Ray; knew his background; which shelter he came from; approximately how old he was; how long he had been with us, and theΒ  benefits of him being highly food motivated. Not one person knew (or cared presumably) who we were… other than Ray’s Mom and Dad!

Is it just me, or does anybody else see a problem with the direction that we are going as a species?


45 thoughts on “Ray… again!

  1. It’s just not socially acceptable to pry into other people’s lives, even as little as asking their names. Although I am sure it would be reciprocated if you offered your names. Although, Ray’s name is what would stick with dog-lovers.

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    • Hi Amy. “Socially acceptable” is an interesting term. Who determines where your comfort level should be vs mine? What is socially acceptable in one culture may well be unacceptable in another. “Socially acceptable” would appear to be not that much different from fashion, in that a decision is made about something which affects us all, and we are expected to go along with it. Of course my teen years were in a time when “socially acceptable” was often rejected! πŸ™‚

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      • I believe socially acceptable refers to the culture where you are at that time. I believe it helps keep the average person comfortable around others. A French friend’s French friend came to a gathering I was having. When she walked in the door, I smiled and extended my hand. She smiled and leaned in to kiss my cheek. We both jumped back, paused, and did it again! We finally laughed and settled and pleasantries. While neither of us were wrong, we both had our culturally “acceptable” and “comfortable” ways of greeting.

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        • Agreed, but my point was not how it is defined, but rather who defined it. Why should I be offended if somebody asked me my name, or my age? They are just “matter of fact” items. If I were to “hide” my name and my age, then I would suggest that I could be hiding many other things.
          I rather reject the idea that “socially acceptable” has any legitimate value over the broad spectrum of an honest society, but that respect and sensitivity can always be applied on an individual basis. Even in your example, you both happily acknowledged the different greeting, so you both accepted different “social standards”. In your example, “social acceptance” served no purpose. Here, in Canada, we have such a multi-cultural population that it would mean even less! Just thinking out loud here! πŸ™‚

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  2. Isn’t it strange how that happens. The only parallel I can see is when you have babies/children, and the world only knows you as someone’s mom or dad. I used to introduce myself that way, and we all understood why. But, it was an entry into another family’s life. Kids, as well as pets, open the door to communication in the future. When our kids grew up, moved on, I really missed all the sense of community we had while they were young. sigh…

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  3. LOL… again this reminds me of becoming parents. When I moved out everybody was excited when I came around. But once my first child was born all they saw where the kids… I was lucky not to be forgotten outside… haha!

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  4. Perhaps, the reason could be that grownup humans are neither as interesting or as entertaining as dogs and babies. Then again, perhaps Kate nailed it…they simply don’t want to know you! Either way, Ray is still the star!!

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  5. There is a growing body of research that show that dogs serve as a ‘social lubricant’ – their presence creates space for us to have a conversation about the dog and then we get to know each other by expanding the topic to other things. This is a reason why dogs make great assistance pets for children with autism and other learning and physical disabilities. If we can get dogs into more places such as workplaces and restaurant patios, we may actually find that we stop communicating with each other via texts and Facebook!

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    • Hi Jodi. Probably because we have rather silly rules of etiquette, together with a distrust of strangers. We are constantly “fed” negativity by the media, and now distrust/dislike of those different to us by your leader!

      Many people would feel cautious if a total stranger asked their name, unless the context was dating! Many people are sensitive about being asked their age and/or where they are from. We seem to be developing into a rather secretive and protective culture, which is sad because we are missing out on many wonderful interactions. Of course there will be those who would abuse the information but, for the most part, I believe that the interactions would be positive. πŸ™‚

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  6. Ray is such a charmer!
    Your experiences with Ray when you go out sound very similar to what happens with a Mom and her little baby! Countless times when I went shopping I would have complete strangers walk up to me ooohing and aahing over my little one. Asking me their name and age,etc. Can’t say I remember any time that the stranger turned to me asking me my name or how I was doing. I was just the lady with the adorable baby, nobody that important. πŸ™‚

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  7. Nope, no problem. I walk in my neighborhood. I can identify the houses where Buster, Sparky, Champ, Butterscotch and a few other dogs whose name I don’t know live. I have no idea who lives with them. I presume it’s the person walking them but that may not be right. Nope, don’t care about them either. They aren’t adorable and happy to see me like the dogs are.

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