Dog leaves his mark… at friend’s house

Dear Labby,

My friend is disabled. As a way to make sure her dog gets plenty of exercise, I bring my Dalmatian to her home a couple of times a week for play dates. For the most part it works out great–our dogs are best buddies.

My dog, however, is a marker. We’re working on correcting this at home, but I know he must mark when he’s at my friend’s house. When I ask her about it, she denies it, as she doesn’t want to create what she considers an imposition. I feel terrible. Advice?

Signed:

I’m Nervous Dog Exits Leaving Impolite Calling-card At The End

Oh dear, could this get any sweeter? Your friend doesn’t want to offend you, you don’t want to offend your friend, and meanwhile your dog is peeing all over the living room. If only we were all this conscientious.

You can’t very well force your friend to cop to your dog’s indiscretions, so here’s your move, I.N.D.E.L.I.C.A.T.E.: The next time you pick up your pup from her place, leave your own giftie–a basket containing the best doggie stain remover on the market. You can include other small items as well if you like, but don’t forget to add a note of explanation, a la:

“Dear Betty. You’re so good to host my big lug each week. I know he’s not the cleanest guy in town, so please accept this tiny token of my appreciation. Love, Mavis.”