Things One Can Say To People With Dogs In An Elevator

Because there is a natural built-in limit to the length and scope of the conversation, and because much of what one dog-owner needs to communicate to another in a small, enclosed space is “I think you are doing a good job with your dog and you don’t need to worry about mine.”

Dog Owner A [sheepishly]: Acknowledges natural dog behavior

Dog Owner B [knowingly]: I share this behavior in my own life

Dog Owner A [relieved]: We are all like this dog


Dog Owner A [unnecessarily]: Apologizes for normal, safe dog behavior

Dog Owner B [also unnecessarily]: Apologizes for something that has not happened

Dog Owners A and B [relieved]: We are both like our dogs


Dog Owner A [proudly] Describes the dog’s tiredness as a human achievement

Dog Owner B: Asks age of dog

Dog Owner A [as if offering a surprise]: Dog’s age

Dog Owner B [in surprise]: Would have guessed a different dog’s age


Dog Owner A [shame-faced]: My dog is friendly, should I tell it not to be?

Dog Owner B [simultaneously]: Tortured sentence structure in an attempt not to use sexed referents toward dog

Dog Owner A [ostentatiously]: Statement making dog’s sex obvious

Dog Owner B [in tremendous relief]: Employs sexed referents to describe beauty of dog


Dog Owner A [unnecessarily]: Comments on how much dog enjoys going outside

Dog Owner B [knowingly]: Contrasts with human preference for staying inside

Dog Owner A[unnecessarily]: We are unlike this dog