Juxtaposition: Searching for Connection


Juxtaposition: the act of contrasting two things by placing them side by side.

I find myself calling Bandit, our new dog, Chester a lot. I never called Lola Chester; not since he’s been gone, anyway. I think I did the whole going through every furkid’s name til you get to the right one thing while he was living a lot. At the time we had two cats and two dogs.

And I can’t help but compare Bandit to Chester. In many ways, he reminds me strongly of Chester, and yet he’s very different, too — in both looks and personality.

The Comparison Trap
Chester was a long haired chihuahua mix. We don’t know what he was mixed with, just that he had long haired chihuahua in him. Bandit is supposedly a Jack Russell Terrier/Chihuahua mix.

I can’t help but compare them in my mind’s eye. They both have that solid male body, with a wide chest and while Bandit is tan to Chester’s much lighter fawn color and they actually look quite different (Bandit being short haired to Chester’s long hair), yet there are similarities there, too — the floppy ears, the curved tail, the dark brown eyes.

Or maybe that’s just the exhaustion of folding a new furkid into the pack and, once again, finding a new normal.

Comparing Personalities
Then there’s the juxtaposition of their temperaments. Except at first, when he was a puppy, Chester was not a high energy dog. He couldn’t be, with a severe heart murmur and then heart failure.

Chester loved to be held like a baby. Seriously, he’d just lay there in my arms forever; that’s how I often calmed him down when he was a puppy or when he was barking; we joked that holding him like a baby was his “off button”.

Bandit, on the other hand, is a high energy dog. Once he’s tired out and the house is quiet, he’s happy to lay somewhere . . . until I get up. Again, Chester was that way, too. Always following me around. Guard dogs. Yet another difference between them — I might be able to run with Bandit once it cools down. I’m doing just a little running with him now, and he seems to enjoy it. Unfortunately I can’t run with Lola, so I’m still stuck walking dogs every day.

Bandit was rescued by his previous owner in the truest sense of the word; she couldn’t bear to see his first owners neglecting him and asked if she could have him and basically they just handed him over. He was probably abused by that first owner. He is slow to warm up to people, especially men — although he seemed to take to us pretty quickly, which is how his owner knew we were the “ones”.

But after nipping Mr.Judy when he tried to pick him up that first day, I still don’t know if I can pick him up. We’re so used to carrying our dogs around, and it has its benefits, like when we carry them into the garage to put them in a car (because I don’t want them thinking they can just walk into the garage, way too many things there that are dangerous for them).

Don’t get me wrong, we do not treat them like babies and they walk on their own four feet every day. Just having a small dog and sometimes being able to carry them has its upside.

I worry a bit how he will be when we bring him to my parents, or if we should bring him to my parents. Typically we bring Lola with us because otherwise we have to pay for a pet sitter. But my Dad uses a cane and he can be a bit rough with Lola — like the last time I was there, he took her snout as if she were a child and he was doing “got your nose!”. She yelped, but didn’t do anything, but I don’t think Bandit would tolerate that at all.

Juxtaposition Old vs New
It’s never really a good thing to examine the juxtaposition between a new dog and an old dog, but you really can’t help but go there. As I mentioned in How Running is Like a New Dog, I was disappointed when Bandit went after Gizmo on just his second day here. But Chester and Lola certainly did that when they were younger, too; they were crated until I felt confident that I wouldn’t come home to beat up animals, and I’m fairly confident it’s just going to take time.

It’s unfortunately that even though Bandit has been exposed to crates, it’s clear that it’s not his favorite thing in the world and he’s very anxious even in just the short time he’s crated while I walk Lola (after walking him first to tire him out, of course).

Considering he just lost his person, though, it’s very understandable. Just frustrating for me!

Since I’m really just kind of rambling here, and my thoughts are doggy this week, I’ll leave you with this quote and hope some other bloggers come up with more scintillating posts:

I’m always trying to find the ‘connections’ between things.That art is the juxtaposition of a lot of things that seem unrelated but add up to something recognizable.
— Pat Metheny

Deb Runs

Tell me in the comments:

What things make you look for juxtapostions?

Do you find yourself searching for similarities between old and new furkids?

Is it comforting to find those kinds of connections?

19 thoughts on “Juxtaposition: Searching for Connection

    1. Thanks, Natalie — it’s not a bad thing. He reminds me of Chester in good ways.

      Yesterday Giz stayed out all day, which made my life much easier, no doubt because Lloyd forgot to open his window.

      Today he’s back inside after a little morning outside time. Bandit follows me around like Chester did, so so far no fireworks. Hopefully at some point he won’t feel he has to be wherever I am, but I also like having the feeling of a guard dog in the house again, too (even if it can get annoying).


      1. I’m sure it will just take a little time for everyone to get used to each other. It does sound like it’s working out as well as possible so far.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I can understand this completely. Now that our Labrador Baylee is getting older we think it may be a good time to introduce a new dog into our family. Of course I want it to be another Labrador but in a way I want something different because I don’t want to compare the two or feel like Baylee is being replaced. I think I may have settled on a Golden retriever. I think it’s most similar to a lab, yet different, don’t ya think?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We kind of felt that way with Lola. She’ll be 11 in November, which is fairly young for a chihuahua, but still, obviously, not young.

      I have to say life was much easier with one dog & I was kind of liking it, but she seemed so lost the last few months, and then this just happened we really didn’t go looking for it — and they say that that’s what happens, the right dog appears at the right time (at least I hope so).

      Goldens are such lovely dogs. Chester kind of looked like a mini Golden and oddly enough, he had a strange affinity for them — he was always drawn to them. I think he though he was one!

      It’s hard to know when is the right time, what is the right match . . . and no doubt we did it all wrong. Ah well.


    1. They can change, too, although after 1 year its character should be fairly set.

      Lola is a very different dog than the mess we adopted! Bandit’s got a lot to learn, and he’s older, but I’ve no doubt that he can learn what he needs to to live in peace in our house.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It is very different taking in a dog that is a little older verses a puppy. Bandit already has his dislikes and likes, but It sounds like he may not do well with rough housing…
    Animals can make their own boundaries too, this guy has not had the easiest upbringing so far!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. First time we’ve taken in an older dog. Lola was 10 months old when we got her; she didn’t have the easiest upbringing either & she’s come a long way.

      Chester, OTOH, was an 8 week old puppy.

      And I am so, so glad Bandit is housetrained. At least so far! That has made my life so much easier, because I’m really tired & I’m glad I don’t have to be cleaning up messes all the time, not to mention he’s almost twice as big as Lola!


  3. I can’t even imagine how you must be feeling. And I’ve never heard this word before, so it’s fun seeing people’s take on the word.
    I don’t know that I’ll be able to get another dog after my Sammy isn’t with us anymore…I just don’t think I could love another dog like I do him. He was my post partum depression savior.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m the type of person that just needs animals in my life, even though it means my freedom is somewhat curtailed (Bandit is not ready to be left for long periods of time yet, even my WW meeting today is going to be a real stretch for him).

      I was afraid Mr. Judy might not want dogs after Chester & Lola were gone — he was sooooo attached to Chester, who basically only had eyes for me. But he was the one that brought up the idea of fostering (although this is an adoption, not fostering).

      Bandit is actually quite similar to Chester in many ways. Which, surprisingly, I find comforting. And of course he’s different, too, every animal has its own personality.


  4. You called Bandit your new dog–has he moved beyond a foster dog? Mike keeps calling Cocoa “Cleo”. Of course because she looks just like her. What were the chances we’d get another brown and white cocker? But her personality is nothing like Cleo’s!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bandit was actually never a foster (although in a sense, he might be).

      So his owner rescued him from his neighbors, who basically were neglecting/abusing him.

      She totally fell in love with him, but unfortunately she’s getting divorced and can’t find a dog friendly apartment in her price range.

      I’ve told her that I’m ok with her visiting him (maybe meeting for a walk, once he’s had time to settle in & she’s had time to grieve). And that hard as it is, if she ever got to a place where she could have him again, we would give him back.

      I know that would be hard, but I just think about her — she had to rehome her 2 cats with a rescue, her other dog died at the beginning of the summer, and she clearly loved Bandit to pieces. I can’t even imagine going through all that. I suspect that it won’t happen, because she wants the best for him, but I just feel terrible for her (which is kind of why we adopted him anyway).

      Bandit doesn’t look just like Chester, but there are a lot of similarities, both physically & personality (although lots of differences, too).

      I call him Chester a lot too!


  5. I keep calling Nelle “Reine.” Though they look much alike, Reine was petite and ladylike and Nelle is a big, clumsy goofy girl. Still, the similarities, juxtapositions, comfort me.
    I surely understand. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My pet sitters always had trouble telling Gizmo and Simba apart, although I never understood that. Simba was significantly larger, and as I always told them Simba = spots (because Giz’s orange is solid, and Simba had spots; he was a cool cat in many ways).

      They were TOTALLY different in personality, too.


  6. I must have missed the big “Welcome to Bandit” post LOL (my bad). I have nothing to juxtapose our little Max with since he’s our first dog. He’s been a lot of fun. I certainly “get it” when people refer to their dogs as their “kids.” Just tonight, our son was brushing Max…and it was comical and endearing (is that a juxtaposition?) at the same time. Ashton was being gentle with the brush and Max was in total heaven. I’m glad to hear you’ve welcomed another “kid” into yourfamily 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve kind of kept it a little quiet, because we didn’t plan for it to happen so quickly and I guess we were kind of shell shocked (sort of like how we got engaged).

      Mr. Judy just told his mom yesterday, I haven’t even told my parents yet. Because my mom doesn’t understand why I’d get a rescue, which is odd, as my family dog growing up was a rescue! And I know she’s definitely not going to understand adopting an older dog (although again, they did it!) and one that has some issues — again, so did our Prince!


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