WOOF, ALL OF YOU, WOOF!
And their input is often either apathetic acceptance of head-rubbies, OR slobbering and jumping. Or, like Pino (the aforementioned paranoid little dachshund), a retreat to a safe zone underneath furniture, from where he can observe and make subdued growling sounds.
Nowadays I often avoid social environments, preferring instead to lurk beyond the periphery merely observing, or at best listening in. Not, you understand, that I am content to let everybody else make every single thing all about them, but being a bit Aspergerish, I often feel that I fail to adequately communicate, and I no longer have overmuch enthusiasm for striving to do so.
I think I've reached a point where I am much less patient, though far more tolerant of other people, than before.
Sometimes, when you realize that you aren't getting the approval of your peers, it is best that you understand that maybe they are far less your peers than they seemed to be.
At times they're actually more like the Borg.
I seriously admire that paranoid little dachshund. He has looked at the creatures nearby, and decided that on the whole trying to interact with them may not sufficiently reward the effort.
This shows strength of mind.
And great clarity.
NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
All correspondence will be kept in confidence.