Last night while I was preparing all the doggies dinners, Thor tested me. He jumped up and placed his front paws on the counter where I had filled each dish. His intention, of course, was to try and snatch some food off the counter. When I gave him a sharp correction and growled "Off!" he stared at me and didn't budge. It took an extra correction to make him back down onto the floor.
That's just one example of how he tests me. None of it is malicious, but all of it could become a very bad pattern of behavior if I allowed it to go on.
That instance stimulated a mental segued right into how men and women push the boundaries with each other. My thoughts immediately traveled to a friend of mine who recently broke up with her boyfriend of more than a decade. It wasn't that she didn't love him. But, a series of incidents occurred which made it clear to her that he always put his needs before hers. This had been going on for 10 years. He would "test" her with cruel or insensitive behavior for no other reason than he was self-centered and wanted his way ... about everything.
You see, she loved him, thought he was the man of her dreams, so she let all those "tests" pile up without pushing back. Then, that behavior evolved into an unbearable situation for her. At first, he thought she would easily come back to him. She wanted to, but friends convinced her she deserved so much more. So, they introduced her to a guy they thought she would really like. Guess what? This new guy thinks she is the most beautiful girl in the world. He treats her with respect; showers her with attention; and is providing new and exciting experiences for her. It's been a number of months now, and she couldn't be happier. Finally, someone who makes her feel great about herself when she is with him!
As for the old boyfriend? He's in shock. He can't believe she's moved on.
Both humans and canines need to understand their boundaries with others. The rule of thumb is respect and consideration that run both ways. You can't walk all over others without eventually suffering the consequences, and it's up to you and your significant other to set the boundaries and respect them for each other. It's all a part of that unconditional love I keep talking about in my books.
Til Next Time,