White Dog is the Queen of hostessing and social protocol. She lectured Taiko this morning as we prepared for Gregg and Candace to come over to meet the new recruit. "Don't be pushy. Go over and stand nicely in front of them once they sit down and wait for them to pet you."
She gave a pointed look at YoYoMa, my protector, who is never comfortable with anyone getting close enough to hug me. He allows it but sits pressed against me eyes intent and in a whisper sometimes expresses his dislike of our custom that puts me in danger. WD then looked at Oh YES! Another White Dog. "The humans hug. A LOT. It is part of their greeting and parting ritual shared between very special friends. They will not be harmed. So don't make a goof of yourself by hovering and muttering; be happy for it is a custom of love and friendship."
WD hopped down and walked over to the coffee table. "THIS is a No Army Zone! The WDA NEVER puts its nose on or takes anything off of this space. To do so would be considered the worst party manners EVER! And no paws, either!" The rest of the WDA, gathered behind her, solemnly nodded their acknowledgement of this rule's importance.
Poor Taiko was beginning to look a little overwhelmed. "What if I just go wait outside until they leave," he suggested. "That way I won't make a mistake."
Steve intervened. "Tender One, our friends are coming just to meet YOU. Hiding would not be a good idea. Do not let White Dog fill you with anxiety. Be yourself. You will do fine...and if you are in doubt about anything at all, just come and sit next to me. You can be sure I won't be disappointed or upset about anything you do. I already know you are such a good boy and want to please the WDA. But give yourself a break, you have only been here a few days...it will take time before you have mastered everything. Relax, my man. You will enjoy today more. Gregg and Candace will love you."
Guess what? They did.