Tuesday, September 18, 2012

So alike, and yet...

Getting to know Boden has confirmed that some qualities we love about Thatcher are just inherent to the Newfoundland breed, not necessarily traits unique to the individual dog. In other words, although we adore Thatcher, I'm starting to think that you just can't go wrong with a Newfie. Not to say Thatcher doesn't have his own personality, he certainly has his own little quirks. But we always wondered if he turned out so great because of how we raised him or because of his genes. Nature vs. nurture if you will. And while we'd love more than anything to take full credit for how he is, Newfoundlands are consistently sweet, loyal dogs across the board. 

Thatcher and Boden are hilariously alike in many ways. Yes, puppies tend to copy the adult dog. But some things started from day one. For example, drinking out of the toilet. Boden had to have learned that before living with us, because he started doing it the first day home. He is too little to drink out of it comfortably, so he literally places both paws inside the toilet bowl to brace himself. Which leads to example two, the obsession with water. Boden, like Thatcher, will passionately attempt to splash around in water at any given chance. His water dish is his mini-pool. It's a no-spill kind, so try as he might, he has a difficult time tipping it. We were hand washing one of our cars the other day, and Boden thought it was the most exciting activities ever. Unlike Thatcher though, he loves getting splashed with water, and will go right up to running water or sprinklers. And example three, a love for sticks. When I let the dogs out into the backyard, they will immediately lie down and start chewing sticks. They would be content to do this all day long. Our next door neighbor asked us the other day, "What's wrong with the dogs?". Puzzled, I asked her what she meant. Apparently, she was confused because she's never seen dogs so mellow.

And yet, Thatcher and Boden have some differences. Overall, Boden seems pretty fearless so far. He's cautious in new situations, but very outgoing. When I brought him to Petsmart for the first time, he wouldn't come in the automatic doors, they were way too scary. When I finally got him in the door, he was freaked out of the cold, slippery tile flooring. He did not think it was safe to walk on. But for the most part, he's really very brave. Loud noises, which Thatcher cannot bear, don't phase Boden at all. One of Thatcher's oldest nemeses, the vacuum cleaner, gets along just fine with Boden. Also, Boden loves being snuggled and held. Thatcher never did. The most major difference though, is that Boden wants to please us. He already comes when he's called. Despite hours and hours of work with Thatcher, he still does not come on command. He does come, eventually. But on his own time. The differences go on and on, but we love them both the same.

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