Yesterday afternoon I realized that I sometimes speak to Bailey and Max differently:
"You're a good girl! Yes, you are! You are!" I said this to Bailey earlier in the morning. I had a huge smile on my face that seemed to match hers, only my tongue wasn't hanging out and I can't get my smile quite as wide as say.... an anaconda. Thank goodness. My voice was full of praise and excitement.
"You're a good boy! Yes, you are! You are." These same words were used just before I left the house to run a couple errands and head off to meet Daniel for my 32-week check-up. I was smiling in a hopeful way as Max stared at me indignantly. A round monkey face staring at me, wondering why I was not offering up the treats instead of wasting his time with idol chit chat. My voice was full of hope that he really would be a good boy. He would not bring stuff in from outside. He would not find something in the house to destroy. He would not hurt the couch. I was trying to convince our pug that he was, in fact, a good boy despite his sometimes bad behavior.
I don't love one more than the other, even though I do sometimes feel a stronger bond to Bailey. She would sit or lay by me when I was at my worst dealing with the RSD and all the treatment. She never left my side. I'm pretty sure she was the first to know that Zoe was on the way and she stands guard of my belly quite often. We had our share of drama with her. Shoes were eaten. Carpets ripped at and pulled up. She peed everywhere in the apartment we had the first 10 months of her life. She was a handful, certainly... but she was ours and we worked with her and she grew up. Don't get me wrong, she's completely neurotic and demands that we play with her and give her attention when she wants it. She won't let us pet her unless she feels like it. She can be a bitch, frequently. But generally speaking, we know she's going to be well behaved when we are gone and not destroy anything except one of her toys or a bone.
Max is a different kind of dog. He's lazy. He loves to cuddle. He's motivated most by sleep and food. He does not goof around like Bailey does; he's more serious - thoughtful. He has two speeds: slow and slower... unless food is involved. Food (or the promise of) makes him run, jump and spin in circles. Adding Max to our family has been an adventure and a joy. From him, we get love and attention. He lets us baby him; cradle him in our arms. He behaves more like a dog than his sister does and for this we are grateful. I'm not so sure we could handle two Bailey's. Max is still learning and growing. He'll be two years old this June and we're hoping all his wild (OK, not THAT wild), puppy behavior is just about out of his system. He seems to be adjusting quite well to the leather sofa and loveseat and has become very attached to the dog bed we got for the munchkins to share. He's sort of taken the thing over like it's his little throne. If only he could get us to feed him in there while he lounged.
They’re good dogs. They are! I wouldn’t exchange them for anything.