Hello, Pet + Co readers! Sir Otis Wellington here, and I’m excited to share excerpts with you from my new book on petiquette hitting shelves this fall! Now that I am approaching seven months old, I thought it was about time to get my life in order and produce a piece of literature on how to behave in a formal setting or a very fancy dog birthday party. Over the past seven months, I’ve had the chance to observe and interact with fellow dogs and take notes on how to act like a proper gentleman, or gentledog in this case. Follow me on my adventures where I partake in a nine-course meal suited for a true king, like myself.
First things first — let’s address attire. You must always look your best when attending a gala event. Men, this means suit and a tie; ladies, this means something flattering to show off those curves ;) (What? I’m a bachelor. I like my ladies with curves!)
Next is the meal. Now I’m by no means a chef, but it is important to have all eight courses plus a final course of dessert liquor. Remember that cooking the meal is the kitchen’s job. You should never offer to help or try to get your paws dirty. Sit back, relax and get ready to eat, eat, eat!
Once you’ve arrived at the dinner party, find your seat. At many parties, you’ll see cute hand-lettered place cards that will help this process go faster. If everyone else is taking a while to arrive, feel free to lay down on the table. You can even look like you’re having a miserable time — no one will mind.
First course is normally one that is served on a shell (like an oyster). At this dinner we have cottage cheese on top of a pig ear hide drizzled with bacon bits. This definitely intrigued me.
The first course is never enough food, so you will still be hungry. Keep a hangry look on your face until the waiter brings around the second course.
Second course is soup. We were served a sweet potato puree mixed with water and kept at room temperature. It was adorned with a rawhide straw and sprinkled with bacon bits. I sniffed at it, but wasn’t too impressed.
Third course is fish, and I couldn’t get enough of this pureed salmon dish! Remember — if the server comes around with your favorite dish, feel free to start eating it right from the plate. No need to wait to have it served onto your dish.
“Wait, bring back that salmon!”
Fourth course is poultry. We were served dried chicken breast with a medley of chicken, noodles and peas. I’ve experienced some upset stomachs from poultry before, so I was a little hesitant to let this course into my belly.
But, I’m a dog, so I figured — why not!
Four courses down, five more to go! If you’ve got a little somethin’ somethin’ on your face, now is it a great time to lick it all away.
And if there’s anything up your nose, go ahead and lick that too.
Fifth course is meat or a roast, so we were served a mixture of t-bone steak and t-bone steak dog treats. I was most excited for this course of the dinner.
Go ahead and stand up on the table if you can’t access the plated dish on which it is being served. If the dish is good, you will probably want first dibs, so being on all fours is a must.
Sixth course is vegetables. We were served dried sweet potatoes.
That face you see right there says, “You’ve got to be kidding me,” regarding course number six. There is no way I’m eating sweet potatoes.
Let’s see if course seven will redeem itself. It’s fruit and cheese. We were served an array of biscuits with dollops of cream cheese. I could be into this.
Oh yeah, I am very much into this.
Finishing it off with course number eight: dessert. Milkbone treats topped with peanut butter. I, Sir Otis, would like to thank all the culinary chefs out there for creating this dish.
Get. In. My. Belly.
Most importantly, stay hydrated throughout a long course like this. Watch the amount you slobber onto the table. Too little slobber shows that you aren’t able to hang with the big dogs. A shorty like me needs to make sure I can slobber like the rest of them. Try practicing in a mirror to make sure you’re bad to the bone.
Last course is liquor and a cigar. Personally, I quit those habits long ago, so I just stick to water. Now sit back, relax and get comfortable.
Friends, it was a pleasure sharing my expertise with you. I hope you all enjoy my tips and tricks for fine dining and will look for my book out in stores this fall! Much love, Otis Wellington (or, as my friends call me, Otie).
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DIY Production and Styling: Kelly Bryden
Photography: Chris Andre
Model: Otis Wellington