I don’t think I could properly convey exactly how Archie has changed our relationship. He has. Plain and simple. Our dynamics are different, our habits have changed, and he’s brought so much joy to our lives and our relationship. But it’s different. Here’s how:
1. Welcome to the world of Mom and Dad
I am Archie’s Mom and N is Archie’s Dad. And we refer to each other as those names, when speaking on behalf of Archie (which I do… a lot) or speaking to Archie. It’s our new normal so maybe it will make the transition to parenting human children a little less awkward.
When N steps through the door and Archie and I are home, I exclaim (in my best Archie voice) “DAD! You’re home! I’m so happy to see you Dad! You’re the best! We love you! I’m so happy!” It’s obnoxious. I guess you also learn that your significant other may talk in a baby voice 20% of the time for the rest of your life. Fun stuff.
I am adamantly against talking about bodily functions with my romantic partner. We are a strictly closed-door, no gross things in front of each other, let’s pretend it doesn’t happen, type couple. And suddenly, POOP! We have to communicate about what business he did and when. I like to leave this nice and vague…did he do all his business? I still hate talking about it but it has to happen.
3. Bye-bye big spoon
We used to cuddle. Now Archie sleeps smack dab in the middle (proof and more proof). Rude. We have the cuddliest dog in the entire world (proof). He has zero concept of personal space and wants all the cuddles all for himself. Like I said, rude.
4. The blame game
Somewhere along the way of dog training and parenthood, someone will believe they are doing more of the work. This is inevitable, especially when it’s 2 degrees outside and you have to get all decked out in snow gear just to let the dog out. You learn to work through it, to step up when it’s you who isn’t doing enough of the work, and to forgive your partner when it’s them doing less.
We both knew we were in it for the long haul before we got Archie. We pay for everything dog related (well, everything really) 50/50 and neither of us “owns” (I hate that word about dog parenthood. He isn’t a possession. He’s our child.) Archie more than the other. He’s ours. Sure, you can feel like your relationship is permanent but once you get a dog, you realize you couldn’t imagine life without the other person and the dog. He’s like a way less official version of a marriage license.
Overall, Archie has been the most perfect, sweet, beautiful, angel muffin, schmoo-bear, lambchop, little goose we could ever ask for. If you couldn’t tell from my Instagram, I’m obsessed with him (follow me for lots of golden cuteness). When he was a baby we’d sit around for hours just watching him walk and fall over and giggling about how freaking cute he was (he’s still freaking cute). I hear parents of human children do this exact same thing. He’s been good practice.
Now when we walk through the door, he greets us like he hasn’t seen us in years. Tail a-wagging, eyes a-smiling, literally attacking us with love. It still
astounds offends me when someone says “I’m not a dog person.” Tell that to Archie. He’ll make you a dog person. And he makes our relationship even better, every single day.
As I wrote this post, Archie sat right up against me on the couch, making typing a challenge. Like I said, zero concept of personal space.