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Two Myths About Dogs, Cats and Animals in General

by Brenda Mahler 6 months ago in dog · updated 6 months ago
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Size doesn't matter and animals can live in harmony

Image from author's photos.

Kari loves animals. As a kid she collected pigs. Not live one, thankfully. Now as an adult she collects animals. Her home is a menagerie reflecting acceptance and love. 

Juggernaut was the first non-human to join the family, though he doesn't know he is not human. With his floppy ears, big eyes, and huge ears, both granddaughters embraced him as a little brother. Who knew by the time he was a year old, he would be twice their size? His face proved impossible not to love and his personality eventually won over anyone his loud, deep base bark originally chased away.

Juggernaut at 9 months. Image from author's photos.

Jugs provided the finishing touch to Kari's family - or so we thought. He made their house a home by freely giving puppy licks and standing guard when the driver dropped off the children at the bus stop. At 180 pounds, Juggernaut filled their hearts and home. However, the house had three bedrooms and though he pushed the weight limits when he slept with Kari and Dan, there were two beds ready to accept more puppy love.

Nobody was surprised when Amy and Roman came to visit their new foster home and stayed indefinitely. What can be better than a Mastiff? The answer is simple, a Mastiff and 2 St. Bernard's. There should be a punchline here but having three huge dogs is not a joke; they are a lifestyle. 

Image from author's photos.

These three dogs prove the size of the human heart doesn't restrict the amount of love it can hold. Each dog has differing characteristics that make them unique. Juggernaut is the strong and quiet type. Just as research documents, he fits the description of a first-born child. 

  • Reliable
  • Conscientious
  • Structured
  • Cautious
  • Controlling (sometimes seen as bossy)
  • Achievers
  • Want to excel at everything
  • Bask in parent's attention

Firstborn children capture all of their parent's initial attention and according to the birth order effect, get as much as 3,000 more quality hours spent with mom and dad between the ages 4 and 13 than their next sibling. - Characteristics of First, Middle and Last Children.

As the first adopted child, all the attention went to Juggernaut. An inseparable bond developed between him and Dan, Kari's husband, who dedicated hours to training him; thus, creating a perfect canine. Jugs fits the description perfectly

Roman is the middle child. He lives to keep peace in the family but when nobody is looking has a mischievous side. His self-appointed job is to reign in his sister, Amy. Big brother makes it his responsibility to be a buffer between his big brother and little sister. Though the St. Bernards joined the family at the same time, there is not doubt Roman is the older brother.

  • People-pleasers
  • Rebellious tendencies
  • Thrive on friendship
  • Peacemakers
  • Good friends

Difficult to categorize, middle children often feel a little disjointed or out of place. They don't get the attention and responsibility that the first child gets, and they don't really get the devotion that the baby gets either. Because of this, they may try to blaze their own trail by either acting out, seeking a large social circle outside of the family or trying to please their parents and other adults. - Characteristics of First, Middle and Last Children.

If I didn't already know the birth order, I could have predicted Amy to be the youngest child. The paragraph that follows hits the mark. I giggle because if Juggernaut had an opposable thumb, I would assert he had authored the words. 

  • Fun-loving
  • Outgoing
  • Manipulative
  • Attention-seeker
  • Self-centered
  • Uncomplicated

Although some of these traits seem to contradict themselves, I can see how the "babies of the family" that I've personally known display each characteristic. Let me tell you something brutally unfair. When I was growing up the first child, my parents were pretty tough on me. I had all the strict rules and they didn't budge an inch. 12 years later when my baby brother was born, I watched as all rules pretty much went out the window. Either they were just too tired at that point, or they realized that kids are pretty resilient, but my parents became really relaxed with their last born. - Characteristics of First, Middle and Last Children.

Just when each dog settled in and accepted their role in the family, Kari adopted two more kids. All the rumors of dogs chasing cats, and cats fearing dog became myths, when the dogs readily welcomed the new siblings. At first, following his second child instincts, Roman worked to get acquainted. With patience and determination, he sat at the bottom of the stairs and waited for the kittens to acclimate. It wasn't long before the physical distance between them evaporated. 

Image from author's photos.

Image from author's photos.
Image from author's photos.

Sure, it took a while for each family member to learn their place. But once an understanding developed, peace ensued. Now don't get me wrong, the children argue. Sometimes, a parent has to intervene but there is never any doubt they love each other. 

Image from author's photos.

By observing the family dynamics and the development of a strong loving bond, two thoughts have been proven to be myths. Size doesn't matter and animals can live in harmony. They just need to feel loved and have time to establish a pecking order. 

Oh, that is a story yet to be told. The final picture shows Amy and Roman waiting outside the door of a room where 7 chicks reside. Soon, the day will arrive that they will be introduced without a fence barrier. I expect nothing less than a larger family unit developing. 

Image from author's photos.


Doing it Doggy Style, is a collection of stories sharing the impact dogs have on our lives. Humans make life too complicated. If we want to appreciate life, watch a dog for day. They don't over think problems, perseverate on the impossible, worry about outcomes, or hold back affection. They see what they want, sniff it, lick it, roll in it, and accept it.

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About the author

Brenda Mahler

Stories about life that inspire emotions - mostly humor.

Lessons about writing based on my textbook, Strategies for Teaching Writing.

Poetry and essays about the of art of being human.

I write therefore, I am.

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