Libo is pretty much in his prime right now.
I got Libo as a puppy in the spring of 2009. At the time, I was single and living (and working) alone in Eastern Long Island. I was self employed building custom bicycle frames, and was working *hard* - and making little progress to speak of. I was pretty self conscious of my reasons for getting a dog: I was exhausted, and needed a distraction, and wanted to have someone around who would look up to me.
I vastly underestimated the amount of concentration that owning a dog takes, and the experience was often more frustrating than I expected. It's funny to say it now, but I just assumed that communicating with a dog was going to be straightforward, and that our interests would generally be well aligned. But the truth is that Libo (like any person) has desires of his own, and it was only after striking out a *lot* that I learned how to identify & exploit the overlap between what we each wanted.
As we've both gotten older - it's really only over the past year or so - the corners of our relationship have softened a lot. I think we accept each other for who we are, and realize that a little generosity goes a long way. Which is to say that we've both grown up, and are beginning to display a little bit of maturity in our relationships.
But he still surprises me all the time. Libo is the most enthusiastic person in my life, and is more consistent and predictable than anyone I know. And while his ability to moderate himself often leaves something to be desired, I truly admire how outwardly natural he is with his emotions, and I continue to really enjoy and look forward to being his friend.
All of which is a bit weird to say, but there you go.