Am I Still My Dog’s Person?


I’ve gone through a lot with Rufus. We started with the puppy months with indoor peeing, 2 am vomiting, and non-stop chewing , followed by the barely-there fully grown months with constant barking, leash-pulling, and getting the zoomies on the stairs. But we’re growing out of that stage into something a little more respectable.

After all of this, I would think that as the only human in the house that I’d be the moral authority for this dog.

It appears that I am wrong.

Sophie, my six-year-old mutt, has taken my place. She is now Rufus’ person.

If I ask him to come downstairs with me, he looks at her first. If I offer him a toy, he paws at her to play with him.

I love that my dogs get along so well. Sophie now looks at Rufus as a playmate, not just some annoying puppy. She actually bugs him now. That’s something I never thought I’d see.

When I first brought Rufus into the house, he followed me everywhere. He was the typical puppy who would not let me take a shower without him there waiting on the bath mat. I realized that I can now walk upstairs without him following me, as long as Sophie is with him downstairs.

He is roughly a year and a half, and he’s finally becoming a dog. There is still quite a bit of puppy energy but there has been a pretty substantial shift towards maturity. The beast is getting tamed.

It’s a little sad that Rufus does not run like a puppy so much anymore. I miss those double-paw pounces directed towards Sophie when she has serious business to attend to. At the same time, he’s become an attentive listener, which is more welcome than a big box of Christmas presents in July.

He still has an enormous amount of energy. We still have to use the flirt pole to burn a lot of it off. That’s fine. Armed with a new Jolly-Tug toy (since the old one is destroyed) tied to our cord, we played with it this morning. He remained focused and would not even stop to play with Sophie when she tried to block him. I’m not sure what’s going on there: she is not remotely interested in the toy as much as she wants to play some type of defense in this game. I attribute that to her having lived a past life as an NFL linebacker, and she occasionally has to bring out her inner Brian Urlacher.

Sophie, as a football player, although I’d hope she’d come to her senses and play for the Packers. Kids cause so much heartbreak.

During their game, Rufus stayed resolute, determined to get the Jolly-Tug. He earned a solid B for “leave it.” We did not have any tug-of-war struggles, but he was not terribly willing to let it go whenever I told him. However, once he did let go, he left it. He did not try to sit and chew on it until it was destroyed. That’s another sign of his maturity that I’m pleased with because perhaps this toy will last a little longer than previous ones.

Overall I’m really happy with how he has been coming along. Vet visits still create headaches, of course, and he still feels stranger danger with techs and staff members he’s met many times. I’m hoping that the intensity of these visits will decrease as time goes on. I can say that now, the world does not overwhelm him quite so much. Β That’s definitely good since I watch too much TV and find it pretty terrifying.

Sophie, once she gets her sack stats in, often decides that she has better things to do. Rufus ignores when there is a toy at stake. Here he has actually let it be without resource guarding.
Rufus decided the toy should remain operational and not destroyed, while Sophie guards the yard from Squirrels and other ne’er do wells.



21 Thoughts

  1. It’s nice that Rufus and Sophie are now buddies. They get along and that’s half the battle. I can already tell it’s making life easier down the line. πŸ™‚


  2. Awww….every stage of puppyhood (and ito dog-dom) brings it’s own joys and challenges. It’s so cool that your dogs get along very well. And yep, I still miss my Magic’s puppy-ish behaviors. But I don’t miss the chewed up TV remote control, BOL!


  3. So sweet. It sounds like Rufus really defers to Sophie now as dominant to him. For a reactive dog, that’s really good because you want her to be in charge and take the lead. Hopefully that will help him in the long run. It sounds like he respects all the ladies in the house!


  4. You’re right, it’s sad seeing them grow up. But, just like human children, it’s fun to see them flourish and mature. Cute pup.


  5. It’s great that Rufus and Sophie are such awesome pals. I’m happy that he is maturing. They grow us so fast, but you will always be his person πŸ™‚


  6. Happy to hear Rufus and Sophie are buddies. Truffle and Brulee only took a couple of weeks to be buddies. However, when they turned about 4, they aren’t as close. They’d rather be near me than each other, but I hear that’s typical for female cats.


  7. It is awesome that your dogs are getting along so well! I understand what you mean about missing a pets’ former clingy behavior. It has been tough for me to accept some of the changes that have happened with my Manna since Cinco passed away last year. Change can be rough on human emotions! I’m sure that you are loved just as much as you ever were. πŸ™‚


  8. Aww, so cute! It’s hard when they grow out of that clingy puppy phase and it feels like they don’t need you as much. But it is a good thing when they begin to have independence! I’m glad Rufus and Sophie are so close, that is really important. Keep socializing Rufus w/ other dogs and people to avoid the scaries.

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  9. My dogs all travel in a tiny pack lol. They ALL follow me into the bathroom, kitchen, office, car, and they totally watch to see if the others are around! Your dogs are super cute, I’m glad they have a good bond 😊


  10. Aww, It’s funny how quickly our puppies can go from being a bit (though I’ll never say it out loud) of a nuisance following you around to suddenly giving attention elsewhere so we miss them like crazy even from the same room! So glad both of your pups are friends now!

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