I always find it hilarious when someone tells me that they never fight with their spouse. Let’s be honest here people, if there’s a couple that never fights then one of two things is true, they are living in a fantasy world or one of them is a pawn. Like a lot of couples my wife and I have a very healthy relationship and considering the great deal of stress the both of us endure on a daily basis, arguments between us are rather rare. However, we now have a gauge that alerts us the minute any tension between us is detected. The gauge is named Emma and is a beautiful blonde mutt.

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Our Pot Bellied Puppy

To understand Emma’s sensitivity I should explain a little bit of her history. We adopted our sweet angel from a neighbor a few streets down from us. She was part of a litter of puppies living in horrible conditions. Our best guess is that she is part dachshund and maybe part golden lab. I was very hesitant to take Emma because she looked like a pot bellied pig with how bloated her stomach was. We were prepared for an extensive tally of vet bills but we didn’t expect to pick over a hundred baby ticks off of her little body. This poor dog spent the first couple of weeks in our guest bathroom because in addition to ticks she also had two types of worms and a small hernia from her over eating while with her litter. Emma certainly got yelled at on several occasions due to my short temper and the numerous holes she chewed into our drywall and molding in the bathroom and laundry room. (If anyone needs drywall work done I’m kind of an expert now) In spite of my yelling from time to time she much like her big sister Rachael (Jack Russel) has been given more love than most children receive.

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Rachael and Emma Hugging

We started noticing a trend about six months ago; anytime either of us would raise our voices in any way or if we started arguing even slightly Emma would slowly and insecurely walk to the same bathroom she spent her first couple of weeks in. Upon further inspection we noticed that not only did she go into the bathroom she would hide behind the toilette. It is so sad but is adorable at the same time. It would seem that it truly hurts her feelings when her parents argue.

After we noticed Emma’s reaction to us arguing we both stopped and came to the realization that Emma is truly trying to tell us something and maybe we should listen. From that day forward, every time Emma starts on her timid little walk to the bathroom Crystal and I both stop and ask ourselves, “Is this really worth arguing over?” Sadly, we can usually answer that question with a no. Is this approach going to keep us from arguing all together? No, we don’t live in a fantasy land; arguments are inevitable when you have two free thinking individuals living together, sharing bank accounts and bills. However, we have realized that most arguments are completely avoidable so long as you have a beautiful dog you don’t want to see with a broken heart. Okay it’s more than just having a beautiful dog it’s having an alarm to remind you that you need to stop and evaluate the situation before something insignificant turns into a night you won’t soon forget even though you’d like to. I’d imagine a couple could find many ways to create this trigger but it is certainly a lot easier when you have someone or something to do it for you.

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Emma Hiding Behind the Toilet

So for the sake of your sanity, stress levels, and relationships, please find a way to sound an alarm when an argument starts brewing. It’s not only a good idea for you and your significant other, it will keep Emma out of the bathroom!

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