My friend Glen came over to meet my newly adopted Heeler, Greta. When Glen reached down to pet her, Greta (who is still a little nervous) bit Glen on the arm without breaking skin. Glen is somewhat of a hypochondriac and went to the doctor later that week with an “achy arm.” The doctor couldn’t find anything wrong, not even a bruise. Glen hasn’t asked, but should I offer to pay for the doctor visit?
Chum Has Overreacted Making Payment Expectations Dicey
Dear Chum Has Overreacted Making Payment Expectations Dicey,
Etiquette isn’t always fair and it isn’t always pretty, especially when hypochondriacs are involved: Yes, offer to pay. For all you know, Glen’s pain was real and prolonged, so you can’t begrudge him the decision to see a professional.
My guess, C.H.O.M.P.E.D., is that Glen won’t take you up on it, but he’ll feel better knowing you took the nip seriously. (Hopefully he has insurance, and worst case, you’re only out a $20 copayment.)
Fortunately it sounds like Greta has good bite inhibition, but I strongly encourage you to work with her on training and confidence-building exercises. Even if she never were to break skin on a future bite, it wouldn’t necessarily stop Litigation Larry from suing for mental anguish.
And you thought Glen was a piece of work…
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