Thursday, November 22, 2012

Passing the Honeymoon Stage

Adopting a dog from the SPCA is really not all that different than beginning a relationship with a person. There are obvious "perks" of a relationship with a human vs. a dog, but all-in-all, the situations are very similar. When you get a puppy you can kind of mold them into what you want them to be which is much more difficult than with a full-grown dog since the dog has previous life experiences. Just like a human does. We can try to train a human companion as much as we want, but in the end, they know where they came from and leaving the toilet seat up will forever be ingrained in their brains.

So when I adopted Axel I went through the kind of courting stage with him in which I went to the shelter regularly to take him for walks, learn his personality a bit and introduce him to my family and the other dogs in the family to see what kind of compatibility existed there. And then came the day when I decided to go for it and commit to him and let him into the family. It takes a leap of faith to commit yourself to one dog to give all of your love and attention to, but Axel was my choice.

And like in any relationship, as time goes by you start to let the other person see different sides of you as you become more comfortable with him/her. Like farting for example. In the beginning most people would never dream of farting in front of the other person because the beginning of a relationship is the most romantic part in which you are basically perfect in the other person's eyes. You can do no wrong. So the idea of letting one rip while cuddling on the couch while watching a movie is completely out of the question. Periodically in some relationships there is the accidental too-soon fart which occurs at an inconvenient time, such as when lifting something heavy or sneezing while at the dinner table. They're unfortunate moments but they can happen. Farting was something that Axel felt comfortable doing quite early in the relationship and he seems to be going for some kind of world record. No seriously though, he might have beaten the record at this point. He little guy can fart like no other. (I've changed his food and he's actually gotten better which is a HUGE relief. That guy has gassed me out of the living room on several occasions.)

When you start dating someone, you might not divulge things about yourself right away. Letting your new girlfriend know that you are a professional jigsaw puzzler or have a foot fetish might not come up in the first couple of dates. But as time goes on you break these topics into conversation somewhere and at that point it's ok to be a bit quirky. For the first couple of weeks Axel was not interested in toys, sticks, balls or anything that normal dogs enjoy to have around. Well, he would get excited when he saw the objects but not really act on the impulse to play. Now that he's become more comfortable and is realizing that he's not going back to the SPCA, these things are becoming much more exciting and he's letting himself enjoy the little luxuries around him. It's almost as if he didn't want to screw up because it might mean he'd have to pack his bags and leave. He's so cute.

Then there is the dominance struggle which every relationship will go through. Most couples know who is the rooster and who is the hen in the partnership. There is one person who only needs to cock an eyebrow and suddenly dinner is on the table or the garbage is being taken out. Someone has to admit defeat and come to the realization that they are either whipped or just plainly submissive. Axel is constantly trying to prove his dominance over me which is very annoying and very trying on my mental health. Blue Heelers are famous for always wanting to be top dog and to rule the coop. All the literature says that owners need to be strict and dominant and always maintain Top Dog status or else their dog will walk all over them. Axel is incredibly stubborn when it comes to the littlest things and he's just waiting to learn where I draw the line so that he can walk over to that line and roll all over it. What a brat.

I found this picture on and just instantly fell
in love with it.  It captures the love so well.

But like in any relationship, you take the good with the bad and love them no matter what. Whenever Axel makes me angry or frustrated, I have to just keep in mind that he's young and new and we're still learning about each other. Plus for every minute that he pisses me off there are hundred of minutes that he makes me feel happy and loved. Dogs are awesome.


  1. That's just a perfect breakdown of introducing someone new to the family...Mom and dad got a cat from the SPCA....big in size and attitude. You could probably talk to Amy about Smokey...he is truly something else considering he almost out weights Jojo. But my point to this is that you described it perfectly...well done Age...your blog has yet to disappoint :)

    1. Thanks Jared! I didn't know that you dropped by to take a peek at my silly little blog, but I am glad that you do!

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