Once again I can’t believe how quickly the time has passed! This week (on Saturday) fall officially arrives.
I love the change of seasons, and I’m looking forward to fall – crisp mornings, apples, pumpkins, football games, and of course the beautiful fall colors when the leaves start to change. I have a maple tree in my front yard that is spectacular when it turns.
One of the other things I’m looking forward to is NO MORE mosquitoes. They have been horrible this year, and particularly vicious the past week or so. It’s like they know their time is limited and they want to cause as much misery as possible while they can. Little bastards. This is also boxelder bug time, which I actually enjoy (yeah I know – weird). I think they’re cute, and they really don’t cause any harm. I don’t mind having them around, even in the house. I sometimes find one inside and take it a little drink of water. If you put a drop of water nearby, they will often uncurl their little tongue and take a nice long drink. It’s pretty neat.
Overall we’ve had a good summer here in The Land of Misfit Dogs. I adopted Henry in May, and he has been a wonderful addition to the pack. I’ve been joking with friends that Henry is my reward for putting up with Ferris. It’s not completely true, and not fair to Ferris, but it usually gets a good laugh, and I’m not above using my dogs for humor.
Ferris turned a year last month, and has grown up in a lot of ways. He is still a bit of a quandary, and I suppose he always will be. That’s fine, it makes life interesting, and he is without a doubt a good dog and I love him, but he is a bit odd. When people visit, he is polite and friendly, but once he says hello, he really isn’t interested in them anymore. He doesn’t respond to them calling him over for some petting or to play with a toy. He basically gives them a sort of “huh?” look, and wanders over to hang out with the other dogs. He really is a dog’s dog, more than a people dog, which around here is obviously fine. I always tell people who haven’t met him before that it isn’t that he doesn’t like them, he’s just…well…a bit odd. In fact, it’s only been recently that Ferris has started to initiate interacting with ME. He puts his paws up on me to greet me which I normally wouldn’t allow, but because he’s not that big, and he’s actually coming to me for attention, I’ve been happy to let him do it. Sometimes when I pet him, he will hold still for a bit, stand there and wag his tail while looking off into the distance, and then he just walks away while I’m still petting him. I should mention that he’s also smart, and endlessly hilarious, always cracking me up with his antics. Even when he’s being naughty it’s hard to get mad at him because he basically has no clue he’s doing anything wrong.
While Ferris seems ambivalent toward people, when it comes to other dogs it’s a completely different story. He really needs other dogs in his life. He loves all of my other dogs, sometimes a little too much. Before Henry came along, Ferris incessantly pestered Rex and Rudy for attention, and seemed to think that Cubby & Sox were his personal toys, and was often too rough with them. That’s where Henry has earned his kibble, BIG time. Henry is a sturdy, reliable, resilient, and willing playmate, and keeps Ferris busy. They really are best buddies, and I couldn’t be happier. Ferris has grown up to be a good boy, and I have no doubt that being a big brother to Henry has been an essential part of that process
Even though he’s only 6 months old, it’s already obvious that Henry couldn’t be more different from Ferris. He LOVES people, and is a huge cuddle bug. I think if he had his way, when he wasn’t playing with Ferris, he’d sit on my lap all day. He loves our pack, but is uninterested in any dogs other than our pack. Henry is all about PEOPLE!! He greets everyone he meets as if they’re his long lost best friend. I find it interesting, because I didn’t spend any more time socializing Henry than I did Ferris, and truth be told I really didn’t make a huge effort with either of them, it was basically just people coming to visit occasionally.
I find it fascinating how different dog’s personalities can vary. It’s that age old question nurture or nature? I’ve always assumed it’s a little of both, and these two are a perfect example. Henry and Ferris are not related, and they are 6 months apart in age. They were each adopted by me when they were approximately 10 weeks of age, both came from the same rescue, where they were surrendered with their litter-mates. Both were raised by me in exactly the same way. I am certain if I had adopted either one of them as an older puppy or an adult, I would have assumed some of their behavior toward people and other dogs was a result of how they were raised, but in this case I absolutely know different since I raised both of them.
Just another example of how different each dog’s personality can be. Even after working with dogs for going on 40 years, and living with a pack of at least 15 rescue dogs of all ages and breeds for the last 13 years, I am continuously amazed at how much I learn from my dogs in general, and my pack in particular about dog behavior! I wouldn’t trade my unique experience living with these amazing creatures for all the money in the world.