Now that we have two dogs, I’ve noticed that it is of the utmost interest to them which of us goes through doorways first. Topsy sits ready to go out by the front door, but she won’t move unless I go through the doorway before her. Similarly, Alex, who is much older but very small, always makes way for Topsy — Topsy has precedence, apparently. I never noticed how they resolved that. The same delicate rigmarole takes place between all of us at the front gate. It’s done casually, but it’s important to them.

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