What this meant to the strip is that in the very early years, we had to contend with a rather derivative cast of characters. As by way of example, it's fairly obvious that Mike started out as an evil genetic experiment in which she combined Linus Van Pelt with Dennis the Menace. Later on, of course, she turned him into a means by which she could nag Aaron about how everything he did disappointed, confused and angered her. The problem is that while she was able to make her human cast comprehensible by turning them into means by which she could nag real people, she was never quite able to figure out how dogs think despite having a veterinarian as a relative. This means that Farley died pretty much as the bad photocopy of Scooby Doo he always was. Instead of asking Beth what a real dog might do, Lynn remembered what cartoon dogs do without realizing that her former bosses were under no obligation to warn the public that in real life, a severely off-type Great Dane isn't actually a really dumb human being in a dog suit.
The reason that this becomes a problem of sorts in the Middle Years is that Elly can never quite wrap her head around the way Farley thinks. What we're going to see as the years go on is Elly either screaming at him or pleading with him to get him to do what she wants because she just doesn't know enough about dogs to realize that that will not work. As by way of example, he can't connect his uprooting those plants that keep showing up on the nice cozy spot in the front yard where he likes to sit on warm summer days with the angry yelling the alpha female carrying more plants always does any more than he can make the logical inference that he isn't allowed to mark territory in the yard no matter how many times they scream at him when he's about to do so. All Elly ever managed to do over the years is frighten and confuse him because she won't understand him.