If you do not believe dogs have personalities, my guess is that you don’t spend much time interacting with our four legged friends. To anyone who has one dog as a pet, or three as is our case, it doesn’t take long to realize that like people, dogs also have individual and authentic personalities. Such is the case with our Tucker and The Case of Lady’s Doppelganger.
When Alex and I met, he already had his chihuahua Dunken, who we call PP. Although PP had a life two years before meeting me, I have brainwashed him into thinking it was me who picked him up from his mother’s so that he could live a life of luxury with his two dads. He and I have become best friends and he sits close by as I write late at night, usually whimpering for a treat. Alex and I have grown extremely concerned because his tenacity for these treats, of which we believe he is addicted, has become quite a problem. He lies and acts like he has to go outside, just to get a treat. He snubs his nose at his food but heartily chomps down his treats. At first he was quite the connoisseur, only willing to devour Snausages and Greenies, but now he thirsts for anything. The dog has literally hit his bottom. We think rehab might be in order.
As concerned as we are about PP, this post is about Tucker.
Tucker and his brother Boo Radley entered our lives two years after we moved into together. It didn’t take long to realize that Boo Radley was a bit, ummmm….slow, and that Tucker’s duty in life was to watch over his little brother. It’s hard to explain Tucker. He’s often the lost brother, playing by himself for hours at a time. Boo Radley either roams up and down the stairs or sleeps in his “house” all by himself until one of us goes downstairs to find him. While I’m downstairs writing late at night, I can hear Tucker jump off of the bed and scurry over to his toys and then jump back on the bed. Over and over and over until Alex goes crazy and demands I put them in their “house” for the night.
One of Tucker’s favorite toys is Lady. I’m not really sure how she received that name, but I believe it is her stage name due to the overabundance of red lipstick she wears and the naughty smile stitched into her fluffy face. Tucker fell in love with Lady immediately. It wasn’t romantic love, but more like girlfriend love. They like to do things like get their nails done and pass notes in school. PP also passes notes in school, but he is much more devious in his behaviors. Boo Radley is several grades behind and still working on writing his B’s and R’s, so writing notes isn’t even on his level. Recess is his favorite class.
Over the years, Lady started to look a little worn. Tucker can be quite aggressive with his friends, a problem we’ve had to consult counselors about, and he has dug into her with his nails and completely ripped her insides out. Although she is nothing more than a ragged outer core, he still loves her to bits.
About a year ago my best friend Tonya, who owns the best dog hotel in the world, gave me an identical copy of Lady but in perfect condition. I took her home and washed her, excited to give her to Tucker, but when I threw her across the room, he just started at her as if to say, “Who’s that bitch?” I picked her up and shook her in front of his face but he could not be bothered. He knew that wasn’t his Lady and he wanted nothing to do with her. I even put them side by side but he just picked up his original Lady and walked away.
The new Lady is kind of a bitch, I have to admit. She’s rude and thinks she’s better than everyone else. If you ask Boo Radley if he likes her, he just says, “I don’t like that bitch,” but it’s probably something he picked up from his brothers. (PP has quite a mouth on him these days! Profanity comes out of his mouth left and and right, all as a result of his Treats Anonymous meetings.) Nonetheless, we still put her out with the other friends so hopefully she start interacting and maybe one day Tucker will love her too.
It wasn’t until I saw this division between the two ladies that I realized Tucker’s personality is filled with loyalty and love, the two greatest attributes. You can’t teach those to a dog and you probably can’t teach them to a person either; they’re just innate. I like to think that in this world of craziness there is still something so simple as a dog being loyal to his favorite toy. And I am intrigued that even though the two Ladys look so similar, are in fact absolutely similar, that he knows the difference. How can you say that animals don’t have souls?
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we saw things the same and didn’t lump people together and judge them based on how they look?
Maybe in my next life I’ll come back back as a dog. I can only hope…
Please check out my book!