When did I go from being my dog’s master to being her “Daddy”?
There is something odd and uncomfortable about hearing my wife tell the dog to “Go ask Daddy” when she is begging for a treat of some sort. That would be the dog begging — not my wife. (Not going to happen. Not ever.)
As for the long-term impact upon my children of being repeatedly asked to take their sister for a walk, this will likely only be fully appreciated after private explorations between them and their respective therapists.
Ours was, until recently, a two-dog household: Phoebe, a black Lab mix of 11 years and her recently departed um… sister, Gidget, a miniature schnauzer mixed with shih tzu and Lhasa apso. (Or, as my father-in-law understood when his hearing aids were turned off: a miniature-schnauzer-shitsthrough a collapsible-asshole — sometimes I think I’d prefer to live in his world. Crass, but more fun.)
Gidget was rescued from a puppy mill and, following her adoption, spent the first two weeks in our home growling at us from within the familiar safety (and odour?) of my laundry basket. Her social skills remained stunted throughout her life, as she reserved her trust and love for only one soul, that of my wife.
I have been accused of being far too Cartesian in this analysis, but I firmly believe that each of us has a limited amount of affection that we are able to provide others. Some clearly have greater inventories, but no human has a bottomless pit…