September 26, 2011 01:00 PM

Mary Lynn Rajskub is excited about her return to TV in the new comedy How to Be a Gentleman, but her dogs Emmy and Ginger? Not so much. Long hours on set means Mom is away from home a lot.

“They miss me,” says the actress. “Ginger’s head was on my thigh yesterday when I got home, she would not leave. I had to give her special, gentle caressing.”

Emmy, a cockapoo, and Ginger, a French briard, are probably a bit bummed that they aren’t tagging along like they often did when Rajskub played Chloe O’Brian on the FOX thriller 24.

“Emmy is cool to just walk around and go up to people on a set,” she says. “But Ginger, if she sees a big piece of equipment on set, she’s like, ‘What is that?’”

Once Rajskub gets settled in at the new gig, she hopes to bring the dogs to meet her new cast mates (including fellow dog lover Kevin Dillon), whom she’s still getting to know. “Dogs are a good conversation starter,” she says. “I think that’s the bonding that the cast is missing.”

She’ll just have to make sure Emmy contains her excitement. “When people meet her, she makes you feel like you’re best friends for life,” she says. “If she really, really, really likes you, she may pee out of excitement.”

How to Be a Gentleman premieres Sept. 29 at 8:30 p.m. ET on CBS.

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