Dueling Dogs

Harper and Sully hangin' on the couch during their two-week slumber party.

For the past week and a half or so, while my family is on vacation, my husband and I have been dog sitting Sully, a 4-year-old Schnauzer mix. Sully is my dog Harper’s alter ego: small, yappy, grey and suspicious of everyone. Despite their differences, the two are great friends, and have spent many a weekend chasing each other around my parent’s home as though it were a dog frat house. But lately, the testosterone is killing me.

I’m one of those people that fall into the trap of thinking of dogs like they were people, and so this past week I put forth extra effort to make them both feel equally loved and cared for. As a treat the other day I gave them each a rawhide chewy; Sully, weighing in at a hefty 14 pounds, getting a small one and Harper, a mere 75 pounds, a much much larger one. Within 30 seconds of distributing the loot, the two dogs, insanely jealous of the treat the other had received, had switched them.

The one-upsmanship continues to transpire whenever we, although I should say my husband, take them out to relieve their bladders. Sully trots around marking the spots freshly marked by Harper as if to say, “I was here LAST.” The suspicion of favoritism is renewed each night when they eat their dinner. Upon finishing, each immediately rushes to the other’s bowl, just making sure they didn’t get anything different or less. Every little thing, including belly rubs and head patting, causes the two to vie for the best, the first and the most.

However, despite the constant competition, the two dogs have been spotted during the last week around the apartment sharing a rawhide chewy, playing a friendly game of chase and even cuddling together contently on the couch, because, although they compete like brothers, they love each other like brothers, too.

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