2 dogs, 2 distinct personalities.
In my post “Think-er or Do-er?” I described personality differences between Maxie and Mia.
Since our move from Iowa to Ohio, additional variations in their personalities have been revealed.
When I pet Maxie, Mia will nudge my hand with her nose, or launch into a vocal session- she can’t stand to be left out!
So much attention has been devoted to Mia and her adjustment issues due to our move, I feel like Maxie has gotten lost in the shuffle.
When Mia is on high alert and reactive, Maxie idly watches nearby; but recently she has given off signals that I am just now noticing. For example, she trembles more than she used to. I associate this with a heightened sense of nervousness perhaps due to the unfamiliarity of her new surroundings.
The other day, as I was engaging Mia in a training session, Maxie seemed to just observe. As she lingered near me there was a bit of an “a-ha” moment for me. I was reminded that she has had to adjust to a new move too. Her bed is in a different place, the yard she knew for 14 years has been replaced by different sights, smells and sounds. She tends to be more subtle when she wants to go outside (which is more often now due to her age). When she wanders into the kitchen, she often becomes disoriented and lets me know this by barking until I pick her up and carry her to another room. She may not be as visible or vocal about it as Mia, but in her own way she has tried to communicate and I have not been listening.
As in any family, the noisy child commands the attention while the quieter one seems to blend into the background.
As we all continue to adjust to our new surroundings, I am making a conscience effort to be more aware of signals from Maxie. She has been my constant companion for 14 1/2 years and she deserves my full attention.
Do you have a multiple dog household? How do you deal with the differences in their personalities?