Tuesday, April 10, 2012

When Dogs Play Favorites

I made a simple post on our Facebook page this morning, and the response was overwhelming.  It was a picture of my daughter, Amanda, and Beverly between pillows.  The picture says a lot about their close relationship, and that picture is a snapshot of a broader canvas.  Do dogs play favorites?  I don't think there's any doubt about it.

I'm not even going to try back it up with science, but I know what I see, and I remember what I've read.  The original mission of dogs was to serve.  Specific breeds had specific attributes that made them good for whatever the job called for.  But things evolved, and sometimes reversed themselves.  It's a huge generalization, but most dogs I know are now servees, not servers.  And if a dog needs/wants something, it goes to who services them best.

Our previous German Shepherd, Tiffany, was getting up there in years when we had children.  Tiffany had achy bones.  She much preferred the attention that Samantha payed from a safe distance than say an Amanda in your face specialty.

Samantha reading to Tiffany, 2007

Amanda up close and personal with Beverly, 2012

Beverly is all about facials.  She'll give and take one from anyone, but nobody makes her face sparkle as much as Amanda.  

Susie, our Golden Retriever from years ago had a sense of adventure.  My brother Chris was probably the more adventurous sibling.  When the jeep rolled up, Susie hopped in.  It'll pain my dad to read this, but Susie was probably most partial to Chris.

Don't worry Dad, this is for you.  Danielle, our Cairn Terrier was his dog.  She spent plenty of time with us kids, but when Dad came home from work, Danielle was all his.  I don't know what it was, I just think Danielle really valued authority, and saw him as the Alpha dog.

My brother Michael Walsh with Danielle, 1979
If it's playtime, Beverly looks to me.  And why not?  I love to play, and she always gives me a break  from the honey do list.

Beverly, all ready to go!
And when Beverly is not feeling well, she goes to Jean.  Don't we all?  She doesn't get chicken soup out of it like the rest of us, but Beverly gets what she needs, when she needs it most--a mother's gentle hands and compassion.

Jean with Beverly, 2012

Who does your dog play favorites with, and why?

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