Dear Labby: Must I pay for friend’s doctor visit?

Dear Labby,

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?

Signed:

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…

Got a petiquette question for Dear Labby? Email dearlabby@dogtime.com