Silas and Hugh

Aside from Silas, I’ve never been around a dog that took walks on a leash and slept in the house.

It makes it a little hard to live with a dog like Silas, who behaves at his worst out in public, where the other dogs in our urban neighborhood are often behaving at their very best. I don’t get to see (hypothetically) that the sweet little Yorkie chews holes in the sofa, or that the Golden Retriever patiently watching Silas have some kind of panic attack has terrible separation anxiety. All I know about other dogs is those polished public versions.

This weekend I left Silas alone with my husband and drove a few hours to see some friends of mine. Since I was there last, one of them has adopted a German Shorthaired Pointer, Hugh. He makes for a very interesting comparison.

Hugh is the anti-Silas. Hugh loves people. Hugh loves walks. Hugh follows my friend through a crowd, devotion shining from his big eyes. Hugh’s tongue happily lolls out of his mouth, and his stubby little tail wags all the time.

Hugh also vibrates with energy. He’s so excited to go on those walks that it takes five minutes for him to calm down enough to get the door open. When he wants to go in the back yard, he jumps straight up in the air, as high as the top of the door. Over and over and over. If he gets left alone in the back yard, he will catch and kill birds. He will run after a toy as long as your arms can throw it.

Silas, on the other hand, is pretty happy with whatever level of activity he gets, whether that’s sitting on the sofa all day or going to the park to run two miles.

Maybe I just need to meet more dogs.

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7 thoughts on “Silas and Hugh

  1. Every dog is different just as every child is different. What one likes the other may not, which isn’t to say it’s wrong. Treasure him, time with our furry loves is short.

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  2. One of the great things about fostering dogs is seeing the amazing variety of personalities.

    My last dog, Shadow, was perfect in the house from the first day she came home with us.

    But outside she pulled, lunged at other dogs, and generally acted as though I didn’t exist. It took a long time to get any kind of relationship outdoors. If you only saw her in the house, though, you’d think she was the perfect dog.

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    1. Silas isn’t *terrible* when we’re out. I shouldn’t exaggerate. He’s getting randomly cranky with other dogs these days, which I don’t like, but otherwise his behavior has improved tremendously. I exist a good 15% of the time now. His leash walking is pretty fantastic for a dog who’s as overstimulated by the environment as Silas is.

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  3. Ah, yes. Comparing your own dog to another. Been there. Even to the extent that I pushed her into very uncomfortable situations to the detriment of our relationship. Cherish little Silas for what kind of dog he is; you and he can only benefit.

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    1. For me it’s a line between comparing Silas to “real” dogs or comparing him to “those perfect dogs” we see out and about. The former usually makes me feel better, as in this case. “Oh, yes, my dog has strengths and weaknesses, as do all dogs, and his strengths actually align with my lifestyle extremely well.” The latter kind of comparison, not so much.

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  4. Ha – next time I see a well-behaved “perfect” dog I am just going to imagine that the “perfect dog” wreaks havoc on the home when the owners are away – that’ll make me feel better!

    Although I think Blueberry is pretty great – I know that she isn’t “perfect” and that’s ok by me!

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  5. Your Silas is perfect! Don’t stress about comparing him to others. With a pack, we have different personalities and some are over-the-top outgoing and others can’t be bothered. Some want to go and go and go and others are content to lounge around instead. So, although it sounds a bit sugary – enjoy Silas for what he is! : )

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