All Dogs Are Different

I’ve been around dogs my entire life, whether they be family pets, gf’s pets, sister’s dogs, friend’s dogs, etc., and thought I knew a lot about them, but I’ve realized no that you don’t know anything about dogs until you are their sole provider. Then, you begin to learn, but they still keep you guessing.

The biggest surprise to me is how different their personalities are. I knew that the personalities varied, but I didn’t know how much until I had Rosie and Lily. They are as different as is possible while still both being dogs. I don’t know if you remember this old SNL skit with Mike Myers and Nicole Kidman:

Rosie is Phillip. Lily is Grace.

It is amazing how different they are with everything. When I give Rosie a treat, she lunges for it, grabs it, and runs racing into the bedroom to devour it. Lily daintily grabs it, careful not to bite fingers, and chews on it a bit and then hides it for future consumption. When we go out in the snow and rain, Rosie goes “BWHAAHAHAHAHAH” and screams out into it, jamming her nose in the snow, rolling around, loving the rain. Lily looks at me and says “Why do you do this to me? Why must my bathroom be wet and cold. My feet are cold. This sucks.” When we go to bed, Lily is usually already in bed, because she goes in at ten and makes herself comfortable. When I lie down, she delicate arranges herself in a pile right next to me under my right arm next to my chest, under the covers. Rosie waits till the last minute, staying up with me until bedtime, and then, after I get in bed, she flings herself violently onto the bed. She then walks over me and Lily until she decides where she wants to be, and then thrashes around until she can get the covers up, often pulling them off me and Lily, and then flops down. It doesn’t matter if she is on top of me or on top of Lily, THAT IS WHERE SHE IS SLEEPING GODDAMNIT. When I grab the leashes, Rosie gets so excited- “We’re going for a walk. A WALK! WALK WALK WALK WALK I LOVE WALKS!” and darts around in circles all excited, impossible to get the leash on. Lily sits next to my feet waiting for me to put the leash on- “Thank you. I did have to potty and would like to sniff some foul things. You are so wonderful.”

It really is funny how different they are.

And for those of you wondering, Tunch sleeps in a kitty bed from Petco on the top left portion of the bed next to my head, and he has his own ten minute ritual before we are allowed to sleep, which includes pacing up and down the length of the bed, purring, demanding I pet him while headbutting me. Then he gets in his kitty bed and circles around it for a bit before settling in. I’d probably get a half hour more sleep every night if the animals did not have their bedtime rituals.

91 replies
  1. 1
  2. 2
    neill says:

    simply go up to the elections board and re-register rosie from republican to democrat…

  3. 3
    CatStaff says:

    Cole, you are one funny man. I can just see the two of them.

  4. 4

    I am a cat person (3) but thanks for the chuckle. Good timing, as I am waiting for my s.o. To come out of surgery. She is being de-gallbladdered at the moment. Luckily she has health insurance from her job as a College prof. & union member.

  5. 5
    Pangloss says:

    Rosie might be more courteous if Obama would only use the bully pulpit.

  6. 6
    Carrie says:

    Reading that just confirms that you are in lurve with yer girls. Very cute.

  7. 7
    Michael D. says:

    gf’s pets

    Right. ;-)

  8. 8
    licensed to kill time says:

    Lily sounds like such a little lady (Delicate Flower?), and Rosie sounds like an Excitable (tom)Boy.

    I have seen the ‘what did you do to my feet ?!’ look from my SoCal dog when we visited the snowy East Coast. She was shocked and dismayed and visibly disapproving and of course disappointed when I was unable to fix it right away.

    Another Human Fail.

  9. 9
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    Bud says:

    Don’t tell me dogs don’t feel or understand complicated things like emotions. While they may not think much about them (making them like many humans I know) they do understand them.

    One time I had an amazing interaction with my dog where I scolded him in a light-hearted tone for stealing a kleenex (ripping them up is a lot of fun, apparently) and he responded with guilt but in an equally light-hearted way. He wagged his tail but droppedhis head, knowing that I busted him doing something wrong but that he wasn’t really in a lot of trouble.

    Thanks, John, for using your platform to promote dogs!

  11. 11
    JGabriel says:

    I don’t know why, but that video seems to have problems playing in Google Chrome. Shockwave Flash keeps crashing — Which is weird, because I don’t usually have a problem with Hulu.

    Works fine in Opera though.

  12. 12
    CT Voter says:

    @Pangloss: Oh jeez. FTW.

    John? I think, to fully appreciate the individual differences in pet personalities, you need to get another cat…I’m sure Tunch would be thrilled.

  13. 13
    blahblahblah says:

    You’re lucky John. My cat is up all night tearing ass around the house. She gets to sleep in her kitty bed right in front of a bedroom window just as I’m heading out the door for work. Truly a nocturnal cat.

  14. 14
    Culture of Truth says:

    Dogs and cats! Living together!

  15. 15
    Captain Haddock says:


    That is so weird – I just had the same experience with my dog. He turned a paper towel roll into confetti on the living room carpet. I was upset but found it funny at the same time (it was a cute scene) and he reacted accordingly.

  16. 16
    David Fud says:

    @JGabriel: I’m using Chrome and had no difficulties. Doesn’t help, I know, but at least it narrows things down.

  17. 17
    Violet says:

    You made me lol, John. For reals. I can just picture all of you. Rosie sure is a terror. It does sound like you’ve got a very happy family. Lucky guy.

  18. 18
    Jeremy says:

    Nicole Kidman was so hot before she did… well, whatever the hell it is these actors do to their faces.

  19. 19
    fasteddie9318 says:


    Nicole Kidman was so hot before she did… well, whatever the hell it is these actors do to their faces.

    You mean before she had her face replaced with a lifelike Nicole Kidman mask?

  20. 20
    Mumphrey says:

    It’s true. Abby’s a 13 year old spaniel (turns out she doesn’t have cancer, thank god), but she behaves like she’s a year old. She runs around the yard, diggin things up, running after squirrels, birds, snakes, toads and anything else she comes across. She demands I play tug of war with a sock or an old rag a few times a week, and has a hobby of rolling small stones around in her mouth.

    Athelbert, who lived on the street in Honduras before I brought him up here, spends almost all of his time on the sofa. All he wants is for me to sit next to him and scratch him.

    I don’t know what I’d do without them.

  21. 21
    GregB says:

    Nicole Kidman had her face injected with the stuff that Peeps are made from.

  22. 22
    cleek says:

    i think she did what people call “turning 40”

  23. 23
    bri says:

    I guess you’ve given up on finding another home for Rosie. It’s probably not fair of me, but I am so Team Lily that I was hoping that might happen.

  24. 24
    shortstop says:

    That really was a funny description, John.

    Dogs’ bedtime rituals are all well and good, but then an hour into sleeping, they discover that the grass has grown up around their ears while they weren’t looking, and they must get up and dramatically scratch/tamp it down before resuming their rest. Repeat as needed all night long.

  25. 25
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Mumphrey: I referred to the dogs I used to pet sit as being perpetual two year olds. The Doberman Pinscher was getting younger every year, the retired racing greyhounds just never grew up. (I miss those dogs so much.)

  26. 26
    cleek says:

    hey, cats have personalities too!

    Tricksey and i play a game where i hide around a corner or behind a piece of furniture and peek out just a little so she can see me. she drops to the ground and creeps up to the other side of the corner. then she gathers her courage, leaps into the air in front of me, does the crazy arched-back cat thing and, if she’s feeling feisty, boxes me in the face a couple of times before running away, while i move to my next hiding spot.

    when i try to play that game with Pepper, she just prances over to see what i’m doing, takes a look around, then walks away bored.

  27. 27
    shortstop says:

    @cleek: No, no, no. That beautiful lady has had some bad work done. She’d be 40 and gorgeous if she hadn’t.

  28. 28
    Jewish Steel says:

    My mother is deep into agility, clicker training etc. She clued me in to the fact that dog people, scientists and laymen alike, have long since abandoned the model that says there is a hierarchy of dominance in the dog world. (They all loathe “The Dog Whisperer, btw)

    Rather, their picture of dog society is much like ours with individuals specializing in various tasks. Which should come as no surprise since we have been co-evolving for millenia.

    I’m not convinced that we didn’t pick up some of our best tricks and traits from them.

  29. 29
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @cleek: Turning 40 doesn’t make your lips swell, your cheeks puff out, and the rest of your face effectively freeze in place.

  30. 30
    tBoy says:

    Having given at least 50 throw-aways homes for life, these psychologically, emotionally, and physically damaged dogs show amazing resiliency and abilities to bounce back. It takes about 3 months to start seeing real change and about a year to really see real changes.

    We currently have 28. They are never caged. We live 1.5 miles from the nearest road, and they have two fenced areas that are 3 acres each and another that is 1 acre. They have a large pond, sand piles, tree trunk obstacle courses, … We leave area with tall uncut weeds and grass.

    The most important thing is to let them be themselves and to be around other dogs. After a year or so they can change drastically but always for the better – never for the worse.

    We love our dogs and they have a great life.

  31. 31
    Cliff says:

    @Captain Haddock:

    since Molly considers cardboard tube to be up there with rawhides, I use cardboard tubes as cheap treat/toys.

    Just gotta round up the bits and throw em in the fireplace when they get too small.

  32. 32
    bemused says:

    Dog breeds have inherent traits but same breed siblings have will have their own personalities, sometimes totally different, which makes it interesting. I have never understood people who want to clone their beloved dog or cat because if they are expecting to replace the exact same pet that died, they will probably be disappointed. You can’t clone personality.

  33. 33
    Triassic Sands says:

    You have two dogs and one cat, so you see the personality differences in the dogs. I have three cats and all three have very different personalities. Not a little different, but extremely different. As far as I can tell, they don’t do anything the same; they don’t respond alike to various day-to-day activities; and they are remarkably different when confronted with new or novel experiences.

  34. 34
    Trinity says:

    @tBoy: Thank you. People like you renew my faith in humanity.

  35. 35
  36. 36
    ChrisS says:

    Jack , the brittany pup, begs to go out at 9pm, and by 9:15, he’s back curled in a ball on his bed. At 9:45-10, whenever we head to bed, he’ll get up, stretch, without a word, and trot to his crate to get his bedtime snack.

    The older cat, Aisha, tends to stick downstairs on the couch in her bed, under her blanket. The younger cat, Amiya, is usually waiting on the stairs for us to go to bed. She’ll race to the top of the stairs and then sit by her toy basket. If we don’t play with her, she’ll make do, but sometimes she’ll drag her preferred toy up into bed, whether we’re sleeping or not. She also has to hop up on the pillow above my head, purr loudly for 10 minutes while I pet her, and then she jumps off and is out wandering. She’ll be curled up at the foot of the bed in the morning when I get up. Aisha, still sleeping downstairs, will wake up with me and follow me around the bathrooms and closets, meowing loudly, while I get dressed.

    There’s definitely a routine.

  37. 37
    General Stuck says:

    Charlie is the most maintenance free dog I have ever owned, by a wide margin, feed him, occasional petting, and a daily walk is all he demands. Rarely barks, totally housebroke, and has never chewed anything. And even very little fur shedding which is a breed characteristic. He has moved his sleeping arrangements to a particular chair, so doesn’t sleep in my bed anymore, but will cuddle up for a few minutes, I guess as some kind of bonding ritual, before heading off to his chairbed. And the really endearing thing when I brush his fur, he has to lick me somewhere in mutual grooming, I suppose.

    But when we go out doors, he is on the job, scouting for critter game to chase, so I have to keep him on the leash, because the hunting instinct is so strong.

  38. 38
    Pavlov's Dog says:

    @tBoy: A second thank you for what you do. In my perfect world, I would be doing the same as you. I can’t go into a SPCA, just breaks my heart to see all those critters in cages just wanting someone to love them and give them a home.

  39. 39
  40. 40

    All cats are different, too!

  41. 41
    Bud says:

    @ Captain Haddock

    Right on!

  42. 42

    @tBoy: You are amazing. I am in awe of the good work you are doing.

    @Blackfrancis: Good luck to your SO. Hope everything is smooth sailing.

    Cole, your story is priceless. I can just picture the scene at bedtime. I’m glad Tunchie is getting in on the lovefest.

    My boys are brothers (biologically), but very different. Raven is high-strung, nervy, moody, outgoing, needy, and loving. Shadow is more aloof, independent, skittish, predatory, and then suddenly wanting love. I can’t imagine my life without them.

  43. 43

    @Pangloss: Every o nce and awhile I wish this blog had a “like” button on the comments.

    I would have “liked” this many times.

  44. 44
    Legalize says:

    I know that it’s common wisdom that cats don’t have the personalities that dogs do. Hell, I used to buy this too. But my cats do the same kind of things. Valentine, the big boy stays up with me until I go to bed, while Mary, the little girl, gets comfy at the corner of the end of the bed well before hand. Valentine then comes tear-assing into the room, meowing, and thrashing about, hurls himself into the middle of the bed, and headbutts me until he can get under the covers squeezed into a ball between my chin, shoulder, and arm. Mary then settles in quietly behind my knees.

    Contrast this to food time: Mary meows and wails for food, scratches at the walls, and follows me around my feet until the food comes out, OR races in at the slightest sound of dry food hitting the bowls. She wolfs down food FROM BOTH BOWLS. Valentine, on the other hand, saunters in, watches Mary eat for a bit, and then quietly sits next to a bowl and munches like a cow.

    Then they both knock some shit over and get litter all over the place.

  45. 45
    geg6 says:

    Boy, are you right about how different individual dogs can be, Cole.

    Henry is the curmudgeonly but sweet old guy. He loves nothing better than to lay on the floor under the bed in his froggy position with a chew, which he will savor all day (or hide as far under the bed as possible, the better to save it for another day and fool John and Gail into thinking he finished it so he can get another). He hates rain and snow (perhaps it’s the arthritis in his hips), but will happily sit outside on his run no matter the weather as long as one of us is in his sight line. If he cannot see one of us, it’s non-stop barking until he can. Same thing when he’s laying under the bed but can hear and smell us in the kitchen. He’s convinced we’re holding out on him and that we must come into the bedroom and serve him some. And no, he won’t come into the kitchen, we have to come to him.

    As for Otis, he’s more like Rosie. Always excited, always up for anything, always with a bit of ADD. The dog in that animated movie that always interrupts what he’s saying with “squirrel!”? That’s Otis. He finally figured out that he always got breakfast when he went outside early in the morning for potty. So he started waking up earlier and earlier and earlier, until a couple of weeks ago he was getting up every morning at 3:30-4 am, barking with the URGENT bark that means “I really gotta go NOW!” Then he’d do the same thing at 6:30 am in the hopes that we’d forget about that earlier jaunt and give him a second breakfast. So John and I quit feeding him whenever we took him out in the morning. He’s back to waking up at 6:30 again. Thank dog. And Otis must touch one of us Henry, OTOH, loves to be scritched behind his ears and for John to scratch his belly a certain way, but walks away and goes back under the bed when he’s had enough. Otis has no understanding of the concept of “enough.”

    I love them both, though.

  46. 46
    licensed to kill time says:

    Speaking of “like” buttons and the like, has the site re-do been done? I haven’t noticed any differences other than not having the site hang on reloading as much.

    Anybody know?

  47. 47


    Good luck on the surgery. Cholecystectomy is usually a fairly simple process, unless it’s happening to you.:-)

  48. 48
    jacy says:

    My Wilson (Boston mix) has to sleep under the covers, touching you at all times. The minute you get in bed, he’s up and waiting for you to lift them high enough so he can get comfortable. Nice when it’s cold, but stifling when it’s hot.

    Spike the cat used to sleep under the covers, but since the little dog arrived, he now shares my pillow. Heaven forfend you should try and move after he’s comfortable. He’s not called Spike for nothing.

    The two big dogs no longer fit on the bed, so they just stare at us pathetically from their private beds, sighing every so often, which gets them extra biscuits. I’m sure this was actually their plan all along.

  49. 49

    Well and since we’re talking about pets and the powers that be don’t seem to be opening up an Open Thread any time soon, I thought I’d

    In the past, John Cole has opened up a thread for the various creative types to flog their wares. Now, I don’t have but about 1% of this blog’s readership, but FWIW, I decided to open up a little Holiday Marketplace post at my place.

    There are so many talented people here and at my other internet time-eater home, Ta-Nehisi Coates’s blog on The Atlantic, that I thought I’d like to give everyone who’d like to be involved a chance to see and be seen.

    AND SO:

    Are you a maker, a knitter, painter, photographer, author, any and all of the above and would you like to sell what you in your copious creativity create?

    Come leave a link and a brief description in the comments of this freshly minted post! http://emilylhauserinmyhead.wo.....rketplace/

  50. 50
    Chat Noir says:

    Love this thread! Animals rule. My three cats have similar mannerisms but each has a very distinct personality. It’s also fun to see the differences between male and female cats. The two 11 year old siblings are Mr. and Ms. September in the Pets of Balloon Juice calendar, and the two and a half year old is Mr. May.

    And, yeah, Nicole Kidman used to be gorgeous (she was so good in “To Die For”). Now, she looks sort of strange.


    @tBoy: Thank you. People like you renew my faith in humanity.

    I agree! People like tBoy are my heroes.

  51. 51
  52. 52
    Triassic Sands says:

    @Southern Beale:

    They’re not only different (see comment 32), they’re much, much weirder than most dogs (there are always exceptions).


    It may have been common wisdom at one time, but anyone who’s had multiple cats, especially at the same time, knows how different not only individual cats can be, but how different some breeds are.

    I have direct experience with Maine Coons and Scottish Folds and each breed has traits that are very different from each other and from other breeds. One of the reasons why people may think (or have thought) that cats are all the same is because there are nowhere near the physical differences in cats that exist in dog breeds.

    Cat’s may be a bit more colorful, but the difference between the biggest and smallest house cats is nothing like the difference between a Chihuahua and an English Mastiff. The idea that those two could breed (I get a little sick even thinking about it) is bizarre (although it might require the assistance of a laboratory to pull it off).

  53. 53
    JenJen says:

    @Pangloss: I was just sipping on a cold, refreshing ale when I read that, which caused said ale to come out of my nose.


  54. 54
    Mnemosyne says:

    I kind of miss having the cats sleep with us, but G is allergic — or, at least, allergic when they sleep on his head, which they all seem drawn to do, so we have to lock them out of the bedroom. All three definitely have distinct personalities, though Charlotte does some things that remind me of the late great Boris.

    Annie is the most skittish of the three because she lived with a feral colony for a while, but I think she secretly likes her humans. She demands belly rubs as her due. She’s very aware that she’s the smallest of the three and always finds things to stand on so she can be taller than Charlotte and Keaton.

    Last winter, I ended up having to sleep on the couch for almost a week because poor G had bronchitis and kept waking both of us up with his coughing. At one point, I woke up and realized that Annie was sleeping with her body on my pillow and her head snuggled on my shoulder. It was just absolutely freakin’ adorable.

  55. 55
    Shinobi says:

    So, I love dogs and their individual personalities. That is why it is simply driving me to distraction that so many of my friends have decided that their lives must follow this pattern. Get married, Get dog(s), have baby.

    I’m not opposed to people with dogs having kids, or people with kids getting dogs. Should a puppy really be brought into your family less than a year before you plan to have a newborn baby?

    And I know that they are all getting dogs as some kind of having a kid trial period, where they practice caring for the dogs to prove they can take care of a kid.

    What makes this sound like a great idea?

    All of my friend’s dogs are desperate for attention. They get super excited when I come over because I am the only human more interested in them than in the other small humans. One couple will have two one year old dogs when their new born baby is born. Who is going to play with those dogs? Or train them?

    It just makes me sad, and concerned about the future of these animals. There are so many reasons that a couple would have to choose their baby over their dog, allergies for example or a rambunctious dog who isn’t safe to have around a toddler.

    Also @tboy you are awesome! Someday I hope to do something similar.

  56. 56
    Carnacki says:

    This makes me miss my old girl, Lucy.

  57. 57
    Mnemosyne says:


    I had friends with a dog who realized that between the hours that they worked and their new baby, they just didn’t have time for the poor dog. It was hard to give him up and they felt really guilty, but they found a great retired couple to adopt him and that dog is living on velvet now with 24/7 attention and people to walk him.

    I know it sounds horrible to re-home an animal and some people freak out at the very thought, but it can be what’s best for the animal if you can find the right situation for them.

  58. 58
    JPL says:

    Tboy is my hero. Many of Vick’s dogs were able to be saved and rehabilitated and it’s because of people like tboy. Care taking a 5 lb. dog for my son has tested my patience.

  59. 59
    burnspbesq says:

    Laettner has gotten into the habit of hopping up on the bed and wanting to snuggle … Right after the alarm goes off.

  60. 60
    qw says:

    Cats have highly distinct personalities, but they do fall into three different “cat types.”

    The Alpha

    The Beta

    The Gamma

    This has nothing to do with domination or hierarchy, since cats have no such thing. I based it on Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World :)

    Learning the cat types lets you mix different cats successfully, and choose the right cat for your household.

  61. 61
    freelancer says:

    OT – Sully on the standalone DADT repeal push:

    DADT now hangs in the balance. Here are the key Senators who can make repeal happen:

    Susan Collins (R-ME); Olympia Snowe (R-ME); Richard Lugar (R-IN); Judd Gregg (R-NH); Scott Brown (R-MA); George Voinovich (R-OH); Kit Bond (R-MO); Lisa Murkowski (R-AK); Mark Kirk (R-IL); Joe Manchin (D-WV)

    Do what you can.

    If it fails, the gay lobby and the White House better look out for a sternly-worded post from the world’s most whiplashed bear.

  62. 62
    WereBear says:

    Cats have highly distinct personalities, but they do fall into three different “cat types.”

    This has nothing to do with domination or hierarchy, since cats have no such thing. I based it on Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World :)

    Learning the cat types lets you mix different cats successfully, and choose the right cat for your household.

    (Earlier post by “qw” is courtesy of Tristan the kitten, 3 months old.)

  63. 63
    WereBear says:

    For instance, Reverend Jim (3) is the World’s Largest Goofball, a Maine Coon mix, while Olwyn, (almost 2) mostly Norwegian Forest Cat, has a tortoiseshell ‘tude and runs everything, though with a velvet paw.

    James Bond, now 13, has always been the fussy intellectual, far more interested in planning an ambush that actually executing one, while Tristan, the new kitten, is a sweet little schemer who is still developing his style.

  64. 64
    Anne Laurie says:

    Godsdamnit, Cole, get Lily some booties to keep her feet warm!

    Dainty lady that she is, it won’t be a problem getting them on her, and none of us (including Tunch, Rosie & Lily herself) want to risk a repeat of last year’s shoulder incident!

  65. 65
    MattR says:

    @Shinobi: Semi-related, but when my friends had kids I decided that bringing my dog with me when I visited was too much of a hassle. The only one who complained was their dog. I showed up without Ellie, said my hellos to everyone including a big greeting for their dog and then we went into the living room to talk, but the dog just sat at the front door. We thought maybe she had to go out so we threw on our shoes and her collar and opened the door. She made a beeline for my car, took a couple laps around it sniffing all over trying to find Ellie and then started whining when she couldn’t find her. Was quite cute but kinda pathetic at the same time. Especially since all this time I thought I was the one she was happy to see :)

    Tboy – let me add to the kudos for what you do. I am gonna start small and try to get out of this condo and into a house so there is room for me to add a friend (or two) for Ellie. But I think it would be wonderful to have the land and resources to support that many animals.

  66. 66
    wobbly says:

    Jesus, John get married and have children, for God’s sake!

    Bore me with with your baby pictures, not with the doggy pictures!

  67. 67
    Jeremy says:

    @cleek: *sigh*

    Not what I was talking about, and you know it.

  68. 68
    WereBear says:

    @wobbly: Children are not for everyone. It’s only our genetic programming which makes it seem so.

    In fact, I believe fully half the evils of the world could be avoided if only people who truly wanted to be parents… became parents.

    Animals are not a child substitute; though they are a nurturing outlet. It’s friggin’ great to have a nurturing outlet; it’s available to far more ages, income levels, and temperaments.

    And understanding such things is crucial to being a good parent.

  69. 69
    Tim says:

    I’ve asked before, but haven’t gotten an answer: Are you keeping Rosie after all, Cole?

  70. 70
    gogol's wife says:


    You are so measured in your response. Thank you, because I was going to use some unmeasured language.

    I love your cat typology. We have one beta (Masha) and two gammas (Louis and Sasha). It works pretty well. (And they’re siblings.) The beta description was so Masha I was amazed.

  71. 71
    Sko Hayes says:

    Wonderful story, John, and so true. I’ve loved many animals over the years, and each one had a distinct personality and certain quirks that were special (and some that weren’t so special).
    I have a pair of cats that are brothers, and you’d never be able to tell. One is small, slim and black, always on the go, always getting into something, always on the wrong side of the door. The other is a tubby grey whose favorite thing to do is lay on his pillow in the sun room and watch the world go by.

  72. 72
    Comrade Mary says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    Godsdamnit, Cole, get Lily some booties to keep her feet warm!

    And John, if you do get her booties, please, for the love of the FSM, have a video camera handy when you first put them on her.

  73. 73
    WereBear says:

    @gogol’s wife: I’m so pleased you find my Cat Typing working for you!

    What I know about cats came to me from twenty years in rescue, having an average of ten in my home at any given time, along with dogs and kids and guests and business clients.

    Some of them were rescues, too.

  74. 74
    John Cole says:

    @Tim: Yes. Her behavioral flare-ups were all in a week after I had been out of town for six days, so I think she was just acting up. Sicne then she has been good. By Rosie standards.

  75. 75
    Cromagnon says:

    All three of our dogs (two Shepherds and a Lab) are completely different. Same with our cats. Whats more amazing is our three kids, all of whom have the exact same donor DNA, are so completely different in their personalities. Never ceases to amaze me

  76. 76
    Triassic Sands says:


    Interesting. Perhaps the reason I see such differences in my cats is that one is an alpha, one a beta, and one a gamma.

    The distinctions are not perfect (what is), but reading each type, I knew it obviously applied much more to one of my cats than to the others.


    This has nothing to do with domination or hierarchy, since cats have no such thing.

    Oh, yeah. Don’t tell that to one of my cats — and the other two agree — because she gives them no choice.

  77. 77
    Less Popular Tim says:

    I’d probably get a half hour more sleep every night if the animals did not have their bedtime rituals.

    Actually, you might be missing out on sleep all night. A doctor I saw at the Mayo clinic worked on a study by the Mayo Clinic Sleep Disorders Center, that suggested that for some people having a pet in bed has the same impact on amount/quality of sleep as a loudly-snoring spouse.

    I’m sure I sleep better with the pets, though. It’s so cozy. In Minnesota, I amazed my neighbors with my $60/month winter heating bill–My secret? Keep the house at 52*F, and let the dogs under the covers.

  78. 78
    WereBear says:

    @Triassic Sands: It’s really not like dogs (non-fans of Cesar Milan notwithstanding,) dogs are driven to look for a boss.

    Cats are not. They don’t even see a “boss.” They see someone who wants something very much. Do they, themselves, want that thing even more?

    If not, no conflict. Giving it up has zero effect on what they want, or give up, next time.

  79. 79
    Fuzz says:

    We had two bichons like that, one of them, Ben, was interested in nothing but relaxation and food, and the other, Chili (who is still alive and watching me type) is a true outdoors man who in a past dog life was probably in the Iditarod, boundless energy even at 12. You can see it in the way they interact with other dogs too, Chili tends to be shy and is terrified of larger dogs (which since he’s a Bichon includes basically all other dogs) and Ben was the typical friendly good with little kids dog who was anxious to meet everyone.

  80. 80
    Josie says:

    @JPL: I can relate. I am keeping my son’s pug for the year after a lifetime of large dogs. There is a difference for sure. I am learning a whole new dog language and a lot of patience. She is very high maintenance and demands a lot of attention, but she is also very loving and very snuggly in bed. It has been a true learning experience.

  81. 81
    Tim F. says:

    @Tim: Der. To answer would be to admit defeat.

  82. 82
    ms badger says:

    @rmp: My dog is Simple’s twin. Except mine can walk down stairs, but is still developmentally, urm, different. Put a tennis ball into the mix and he’s a genius. Everything else, not so much.

  83. 83
    quaint irene says:

    and they must get up and dramatically scratch/tamp it down before resuming their rest. Re

    My Grandma used to refer to that ritual as ‘Getting the snakes out.”

  84. 84
    JimK says:

    @Jeremy: See “Dead Calm”.

  85. 85
    Annie says:

    I love this post. I keep coming back and reading it. The bedtime ritual is priceless. Our two cats fight for spots on the bed. They both want to lay on my arm and race to see who gets there first. It is both endearing and frustrating, with much purring and hissing before they settle down. I am at the age where I have to move during the night or my arm starts to hurt, and it makes me laugh when the one of my arm actually tries to use his/her weight to push down on my arm to try and prevent me from turning…

  86. 86
    WereBear says:

    Mmmmm. Bedtime rituals.

    We have a full size bed, and four cats, and Mr WereBear has a neck the size of his head. Yet we all manage to fit on it.

    Though we desperately need to upgrade.

  87. 87
    daryljfontaine says:

    My cat Zorro will pace the bed, walk over my stomach (on what I call “stiletto paws,” focusing 16 pounds of cat into roughly 1-inch diameter circles), and eventually settle in on one side of me or the other, preferring to sleep in the crook of my arm. I’m the one who wakes up and turns on his side during the night, with the cat more or less staying where he is despite my movements. Can’t get him to go under the covers, though, despite it being considerably warmer there.

    The extra fifteen minutes or so is totally worth it when he finally settles in. Especially if he does something sweet and unexpected, like tuck a paw into my hand when he curls up into a ball.


  88. 88
    snarkyspice says:

    I love how much you love Rosie. Even though you admit it only grudgingly, it shines through every word you write about her. I’m a shameless softie but that makes me a little teary. She needs you.

  89. 89
    Tim says:

    @John Cole:

    Thanks, John. Good to know. I am glad you are keeping her, although I completely get that a hyper dog would probably drive me to consider a change too. Thing is, I don’t think I could actually do the deed when the time came.

    My dog, Helen, a rescue whose been with me about 20 months now, sounds a lot like Lily, though she doesn’t have any problem with getting into a mess outside. She’s curled up against my side right now, and that is where she always is if I’m up for it.

    I was never a dog person, or even a pet person, til Helen came along. Lately I’m considering human/canine marriage. And I’m gay. :D

  90. 90
    Jebediah says:

    The much-beloved Milo had a bedtime ritual that took us several months to discover. When we went to bed, he would settle down to sleep at the foot of the bed, just making contact with our feet. When we woke up in the morning he would be in the same position. We found out later that after we were asleep, he would leave and go sleep in his preferred spot – in the middle of the living room floor, always returning to the bed before we woke up.
    I always assumed that while he clearly didn’t really want to sleep on the bed, he wanted us to feel safe and protected and figured what we didn’t know wouldn’t hurt us.
    Juno, on the other hand, wants to snuggle all the time- well, except when she wants to aggressively kiss your face, focusing special attention on the face-bits needed for breathing, or playing “Who can be the spazzingest dog,” which she always wins, paws down.
    And while I am late to the thread, I’d like to add to the chorus of praise for Tboy – and for John’s prose, which did make me literally LOL.

  91. 91
    wes g says:

    holy crapola, i remember that skit!

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