The Dog Sniff

Now that I own a dog, I am noticing just how similar dogs and humans are. It’s not so much how human-like dogs are, rather how pack-like we are.

Take the dog-sniff as an example.

Dogs sniff each other to get an idea if the other dog is a friend or foe. It’s kind of a hey-nice-to-meetcha-do-ya-bite thing. We do the same thing, but in a more sophisticated fashion.

On Saturday, I walked over to a new neighbor’s house to invite her to a back-to-homeschool ice cream social at my house next weekend. We had communicated via email, but had not met in person. She lives right around the corner from me, and I was eager to meet her since her younger daughter is about the same age as Katie (and 5 – 6 year old girls are rare in this neighborhood). She invited me (and my 3 youngest children) in for a visit.

This is why it takes me an hour to check my mail at the mailbox three blocks away.

So we sat and chit-chatted for about 5 minutes. Has she started school yet? Did she get directions to the local Target? Isn’t it nice how close the commissary is?

And then she threw out an acronym to which I responded with a blank stare. She then identified the group as the Protestant Women’s group found on most military installations. I then said, “Oh, yes, I know what you’re talking about,” in that vague way that indicated I know about that group to which I do not belong.

And my first thought was, “Hey! I just got sniffed!”

Then I thought, “Great, now she thinks I’m a godless barbarian.”

Then I thought, “I should explain that I’m Catholic.”

Then I thought, “Hmmm…but then she’ll know I’m a godless barbarian.”

Then I thought, “This silent debate in my mind has taken way too long. Oh, well. So what if she thinks I’ll be Left Behind…”

There was a bit of a restless silence, and then we talked about something mundane like school cirriculums, and I called the girls, and we departed for another homeschooler’s house.

I wonder if she’ll let her daughter play with my daughter, seeing as we’re not in the same pack?

2 thoughts on “The Dog Sniff

  1. Scratch and sniff! You are a great writer! I hope she’ll let them play. Personally, I’m feeling more echumenical, maybe she is too!Cheers!KM

  2. That is a great analogy. I catch myself doing it to people to see if they’re Catholic, so I guess it makes sense that a non-Catholic would do it too. And you know, she might have sniffed out something good in that conversation…the fact that you’re not in their pack doesn’t mean they can’t try to convert you. (or you them…mwahaha)

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