I have noticed a disturbing but amusing trend with our two dogs. Each one of them is starting to pick up the other dog’s behaviors! We have two dogs: a ten year old Jack Russell Terrier and a two year old Labradoodle. They are both males. The Jack Russell is the leader of the pack.
Gator (Jack Russell) is your typical Jack Russell Terrier. At ten years old, he still is a puppy. He hunts, chases, digs, and can climb trees! When he hunts, he does the paw up hunting stance. For you non JRT owners, he will pick up his right front paw about half way off the ground and freeze. Gator will shake like crazy and pounce on whatever has caught his attention. Reagan (Labradoodle) now does the exact same thing. I saw him hunting a lizard the other day and had to laugh when he picked up his right front paw too!
Reagan is a pretty easy going dog. He is super friendly with people and other dogs. Gator is great with people and is pretty anti-social with other dogs. I am happy to report that Gator has not rubbed off on Reagan in that regard.
I heard quite a commotion one evening in our backyard. I could hear Gator giving his shrill bark (his alert that he found something to hunt) and Reagan barking his trademark goofy woof. It sounds kind of like woooof! I brought my son out back with me to check out the situation. I had to laugh when I saw Gator climbing up a palm tree and Reagan standing at the tree base trying to climb the tree too! Both dogs had found a lizard that picked the wrong tree to visit!
Gator hates getting wet. If it rains, he’ll wait until the rain stops to go outside to use the bathroom. Baths for Gator are a real challenge. If you say “Do you want a bath?” he’ll hide under the dining room table until he feels the threat of cleanliness has past. Reagan loves the water. He loves the rain in particular. Whenever it rains or our sprinkler system is on, I have to keep him out of the yard. You would not believe how much mud he can track into our house!
It is certainly a challenge having two puppies in our home. What it is in challenges is certainly made up for in fun. No matter how rough (pardon the pun) my day is, both of them are always so happy to see me. I work from home. If they are not outside or laying in the living room, both of them lay right by my feet as I work. In fact, they are both lying under my chair as I am writing this article.
Our children also have the gift of growing up with two dogs that love them. Each Halloween, we dress Reagan in a costume that co-ordinate with our daughter’s ensemble. One year, she was a strawberry and he was a banana! Gator will often hop up onto her bed and lay at her feet when I read her bedtime stories. As a dog owner, these are the memories that will last a lifetime.