Do you love one of your pets more than the other? You’re probably thinking, “No! Of course not!” But mull it over a bit. Does one of your dogs get extra treats when you’re doling them out? Do you give more belly rubs to this one over that one? Do you baby the little pup and make the big guy fend for himself? Though it might seem “mean” to admit that you have a preference for one of your pets, if you consider it you might come to realize that you have indeed been unconsciously giving one of your pets special treatment. Or in the case of my husband, giving special treatment very, very, very consciously. He’s not shy about loving one of our dogs more than the other, and he’ll happily provide you with a list of reasons why. So which dog reigns supreme in his heart? Yes, it’s Sumner, our sweet, loveable boxer. My husband makes no secret of his preference. When I asked him why he loves Sumner the most, his answer elegantly summed up the difference between our two dogs. “Zeke has a bad attitude.” I have to agree with him. Though Zeke is incredibly clever, the devil-streak runs thick in him. Not that he’s naughty, mind you. He doesn’t destroy the house or bite visitors, and he’s really well trained. He’s just … a jerk. He takes advantage of Sumner’s softness by bullying him around to the point where we think Sumner has Stockholm Syndrome. Unfortunately, the bullying would be difficult to try to train out of Zeke … it’s subtle (a hard stare here, a nip to the heels there), but the entire household sees it, and is annoyed by it. That said, Zeke also has a great deal of empathy. When I was recently overtaken by shriek-inducing back-spasms, Zeke followed me from room to room with his ears back and a concerned look on his face. When I finally came to rest flat on my back he sat next to me and placed his paw on my hand as if to say “Are you ok?” So I flip-flop. In some ways I love Sumner more (always ready to cuddle, silly, incredibly gorgeous), but Zeke has some mighty fine qualities as well (super-smart, not afraid of anything, can read my mind). Do I have a preference? I think I do. But I’ll never tell!
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