The “Mature” One
When my sister told me she was taking her children on a surprise road trip to get a dachshund puppy, I had only one question: “Can I come along for the ride?”
Famous last words.
There were 4 puppies in the litter, and I instantly bonded with one of the black and tan males. The breeder pointed to him and said, “He’s the mature one,” like it was a defect. My niece and nephew were ecstatic, as the breeder had handpicked the dog for them: one that would be good for a home with children. To my husband’s surprise, I came home with a puppy: the mature one.
My sister and I live in the same town, so we’ve been fortunate that Pretzel (her boy) and Bosco (my boy) have been a part of each other’s live for 10 years now. Over those years, my husband and I have kept Pretzel whenever my sister and her family took trips, and sometimes even when they were just going to be gone for the day at sporting events with their children. Pretzel’s family calls my home “Camp Bosco.” When he comes to stay, they pack up his bed, food, blankies, treats and toys. My sister even wrote his name on the bottom of his food bowl, just in case it gets lost, like a child’s belongings for camp!
Bosco and Pretzel know they are brothers and their love is unmistakable. Each one will tilt his head if we say the other’s name and run to the door for look for the sibling’s arrival. When we walk them, people say “They look just alike!” but my husband and I know their differences so well. After all, Bosco is the mature one – at 10 weeks the breeder had him pegged.
- Pretzel demands attention, physically and vocally. Bosco patiently waits for it.
- Pretzel tears the stuffing out of toys. Bosco plays gentler and bites at toys around the areas where the stuffing is coming out.
- Pretzel chases birds. Bosco knows it is a waste of energy.
- Pretzel forces his body into the action when I am on the floor kissing Bosco. Bosco doesn’t mind waiting for me to finish kissing Pretzel. He knows I am a fair and equal kisser.
- Pretzel wakes up ready for the hand monster to get his neck or especially his feet. Bosco asks that you allow him time to wake up slowly and stretch before you start getting silly with him.
- Pretzel barks at anything that moves outside. Bosco knows that the leaves blowing across the street are not a threat to him, or me.
- Pretzel wags his tail when you look at him or walk into a room, even if he is half-asleep. Bosco expresses his pleasure at seeing you in his eyes, and the way he rolls on his back for his favorite kisses in the world: chest kisses.
- Pretzel tears up his beds and drags them across the room. Bosco appreciates his possessions and could never imagine destroying something as pleasurable and luxurious as his very own bed.
- To the untrained eye, Pretzel appears more assertive and macho. People think they are little couple, with Bosco being the prettier more feminine looking of the pair. But little do they know that Pretzel is a big baby and Bosco is actually much more macho.
- Last but not least, Pretzel has always dominated Bosco (hence his nickname, The Humpinator). Even now, at 10 years old, Pretzel has a need to remind us that he’s the dominant one. (Immature!). Bosco has never had to demonstrate his pack leadership. He knows it lives within him.
When I’m holding Bosco in the driveway waving bye to Pretzel as his family pulls away from Camp Bosco, without fail, every time Bosco stretches his neck up to lick me right on the mouth, as if to say: “That was fun, Mom! I really appreciate having brother over. But I am so happy we can now return to our normal, quiet routine.” I can relate.
We love and embrace their differences. And we love having the mature one. I assure you, Bosco is still fun, silly and entertaining. We will always celebrate their differences and be so thankful for having them in our lives. They have brought 2 sisters even closer to each other, over the years as one has raised her family and the other has been focused on a career. Staying in touch to check on the boys, update each other on their latest antics, and of course have visits, has allowed us to create so many great memories, for which we are thankful.