To understand his side of the story, you must understand that he, in no way, benefits at all from her existence. Of course it's really a chicken and egg story, perhaps if he shared some kindness the love might flow back and the benefits would be easier to recognize. As is, they march around each other, one yelling, the other gassing, coexisting in a small space of unpleasantness.
He comes to this naturally; as I understand it dogs were more of a commodity than family member when he was a child. Trouble remembering to feed the dog? Get rid of it! Dog chewed on your shoe? Get rid of it! Whereas in my family the dog was a cherished third child, always along on family vacations, draped casually on every piece of furniture we owned, forbidden from not one room, Truffles was in every sense one of us, and losing her was horrible.
But then, Eleanor has done everything possible to arm Jack with dislike. Years ago, when she had only been with us for three months, she ate an entire cake, his birthday cake. We came home from a celebratory evening out to find that she had escaped from the safety of her room, climbed onto the dining room table, removed the glass cake dome (which lay shattered on the floor) and helped herself to every bit of a very rich chocolate cake, not one scrap remained. Two calls to the emergency vet sent Jack to the corner store in search of hydrogen peroxide (on a very cold and snowy January night). The remainder of his birthday was spent inducing vomiting in a very displeased beagle. His displeasure need not be mentioned.
It used to be that she slept at the foot of our bed, occasionally even snuggling deep under the covers. Until we woke in the middle of the night to the most horrible of sounds, a violently ill beagle at our feet, covering the antique embroidered French sheet that I had just bought in London with things we cannot ever speak of again. At about five months pregnant, still reeling daily from the smell of coffee, I was absolutely no help in cleaning the mess, and the mess was voluminous.
Beagles smell everything, they eat everything they smell, and they then vomit about half of what they eat. And so it was this morning when we awoke, yet again, to that sound, and I spent my 6 a.m. hour cleaning the remains of who knows what was digested yesterday.
Jack counts the days until we lose Eleanor, although he has lived through the demise of one dog with me, I can't imagine that he is truly looking forward to suffering through that madness again. And while she is certainly getting older, Mrs. Roosevelt now in her U.N. years with Franklin long gone, she is not going anywhere, not for now. However I am fairly certain if the old gal gets her paws on another chocolate cake she and I may have some house hunting to do.