Are Dogs Like Onions Too?

When trying to discover the origin of the quote about people being like onions, I found many onion-like layers of claim. Some attribute the saying to poet Carl Sandburg who penned “Life is like and onion, you peel it off one layer at a time and sometimes you weep.”  Some say it’s an old Yiddish proverb while others credit Shrek with the original quote. But no matter who or what you attribute the original saying to, I don’t think it can be denied that our dogs are like onions as well.

My Aussie girl Tosha, was rescued from a hoarding situation and I brought her home after she spent several months at a private rescue. We had two other dogs at the time and although they got along, it wasn’t famously. Even my attempts to interact with Tosha were met with very mild interest on her part. Her favorite pastimes seemed to be napping, eating, and surveying her backyard domain.

We had her for about a year or so before another dog showed up on our doorstep. Elbee had not been planned for, but he worked his way into our home and hearts nonetheless. Tosha’s indifference to Elbee was on par with what we expected, but after about 3 months things began to change. We noticed that Tosha would show a bit more interest in Elbee than the other dogs. She would occasionally respond to his efforts to play and roll over on her back to engage in a good old bout of mouth wrestling, complete with mock growls and barks, yaps, snorts, and sneezes.  After a while, the play bouts would become more intense and frequent and even included short bouts of chase, something Tosha never did.

It’s been a year since Elbee came into our home and now Tosha solicits him for play from time to time and has even become more playful with the other dogs as well. She even interacts with us now without prompting.

Before Elbee came if you had asked me if Tosha was a “sociable dog” I would have said no, but not anymore.  I can’t positively say that it was Elbee who peeled this layer of Tosha’s personality back for our enjoyment, but I think he certainly provided the spark she needed in order to expose it.

As the layers of my dog’s personalities are revealed, sometimes they make me laugh, sometimes they make me cry, and sometimes I stand there dumbfounded, but I am always ready for the opportunity to discover more.

I would love to hear about how you discovered your dog’s personality layers. Won’t you leave a comment and share them with us?


Kevin, Jackie, Gavin, Annie, Tosha, Elbee

2 thoughts on “Are Dogs Like Onions Too?

    • They used a similar quote in the movie “The Blind Side” with Sandra Bullock. But wherever it comes from, I believe it applicable! 🙂

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