Every dog we have had, have all had totally different characters.
Every dog owner will tell you the same.
And the two we currently have are very, very different characters.
Tallulah is coming up to three years old this summer and Bridie will be eleven this year. So it is no surprise that Tallulah is bouncy and cheerful, loves everyone and thinks that everyone will love her too. While Bridie is restrained, elegant and aloof.
Bridie was a show girl - she has been to Crufts - and was a mature dog when we got her. I don't tink she had ever learnt to play (although Tallulah is quite persistent in trying to get her to join in chasing and bouncing games).
Tallulah is also quite uninhibited when it comes to getting your attention. There is no way you will be able to ignore her. She will nudge you quite firmly with her nose, so you get poked in the arm or in the side, or if you are writing a furry nose will lift your hand up. And if that fails, then her front legs are up on your knee and you nose, ear, or whatever part of your face she car reach is given a good snuffle and lick.
This is not something Bridie has ever learnt.
Instead Bridie has developed the Hypno-dog stare.
Between the 1st and 2nd World Wars there was a Music Hall act with a dog known as 'Hypno-Dog', and at some point, while they were touring the UK, the dog managed to go missing. Posters were put up and there were even announcements in the Newspapers, asking people to be on the look out for the missing dog. But at the same time they were warned that under no circumstances should they look Hypno-Dog in the eye, or it would put them to sleep.
Well, we have our very own Bridie the hypno-dog.
As I said, she has never learnt how to do the in-your-face demanding attention thing. But instead she has developed a very disconcerting stare.
You may be reading a book, or working at the computer and suddenly you are aware that you are not alone.
And when you look round there is Bridie, stood stock still, staring at you. Staring very, very intensely at you.
And into your head will come the message:
'You WILL give the dog a biscuit!' and you find yourself reaching for the dog biscuit box.
And when you turn back, silently the ninja hypno-dog is now an inch from your leg, but still with the unblinking hypno-dog stare.
Sometimes it isn't food but a cuddle she wants. Again she has never learnt how to just throw herself at you in a 'Cuddle me!' demanding sort of way, so instead she positions herself sideways in front of you and gives you the hypno-dog stare! But when you do cuddle her, or stroke or rub her head (which she loves) you feel her gently relax and collapse against you.
Bridie has also decided that she likes the occasional cup of tea or coffee. Now, I know that dogs should not routinely be given tea or coffee as the caffeine is bad for them, but for a start I drink red bush tea (no caffeine) and the way I like tea and coffee is so weak that it is fortnight!
Besides which, the first time she decided to give tea a try, there was not a lot we could do about it.
That was last summer, out in the garden. My mug was standing on the grass cooling and the next thing we knew, a certain dog had got her head stuck in the mug and she was not coming out until all the tea had been drunk!
So occasionally after tea, when we are watching TV and relaxing with a coffee, I become aware that Bridie has decided that tonight is the night for a sip or two of coffee.
Tallulah has also learnt to recognise the 'hypno-dog' stare and watches happily as Graham is directed to share the cool remains of my drink into two dog bowls.
So all I can say to you is:
Beware of the Hypno-Dog - and under no circumstances look her in the eyes!