Today we passed a lady with a walker and Shimmer uncharacteristically zoomed in on her jacket pocket. By that I mean he purposefully walked over and put his nose on her pocket. I apologized and she laughed. I joked that he must have smelled a treat, and she said, in fact, she did have one there. She fished a Milk Bone out of her pocket and handed it to him, which he politely took. I thanked her and we walked away.
I noticed that Shimmer hadn’t automatically eaten the treat. When we turned the corner, and walked out of the lady’s sight, Shimmer spit the Milk Bone out.
My question is, how did Shimmer learn to be so polite?
I thought of visits with my great-grandma. After the folks had got all caught up and it was time to go, she would present us with a bowl of hard candy. It was always the same bowl with the same candy that over the years had grown into one hard lump. But just like our parents told us to do, we’d chisel out a dust-covered lemon ball or a tobacco-flaked butterscotch ball, pop it into our mouths, and say thank you. Then, we’d spit them out once we got into the car.
I’m guessing Shimmer’s treat had been in the lady’s pocket for Lord knows how long. Maybe Shimmer knew what my parents knew. Why not make someone happy and take their gifts gracefully? You can always spit that nasty thing out later.