Puppelgangers

March 31, 2010 at 3:32 pm 7 comments

I suppose you’re wondering why I just posted two different pictures of Audie with a shoe in his mouth. Audie’s shoe fetish is old news here and I’ve got more interesting things to feature in a photo essay.

The thing is – only one of these is a photo of Audie. The other is a photo his littermate brother Cap, who belongs to my friend Faye (she’s an excellent dog trainer by the way). The boys look a lot alike. So much so that when we had both of them at a training seminar when they were about four months old – Faye, Zip and I spent the entire day doing double-takes.

Having Cap and Audie in the same place really messed with Zip’s head. When Cap and Faye walked into the room, Zip’s eyes bulged out and she stared at Cap with the kind of focused, intent energy that only working kelpies and psychopaths can muster. Then, ever so slowly, she turned her head to where Audie was sitting – then stared at him the same way. The utter wrongness of there being two Audies in the universe fried several circuits in Zip’s brain that morning.

By lunch she’d recovered her composure enough to play hall monitor. Note how she keeps her back to the wrongness of the evil Audie But Not Audie Thing on her left.

The boys actually looked more alike in person than they do in this photo. Cap has more bone, Audie is a little taller. The white socks on their feet are mirror images as are their blazes. Audie has a white spot on the back of his neck, Cap doesn’t.

And they have very different personalities – Audie is as outgoing as a well-bred golden retriever while Cap has a more typically reserved English shepherd temperament. And, as Faye likes to point out – Cap is the cute one.

Comparing notes, Faye and I discovered that both the boys like to grab a shoe to carry around when they greet the people they love. The resemblance between our puppelgangers is more than fur deep.

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The Other Thing Audie’s Still Naive

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Rob McMillin  |  March 31, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    Did Not Audie have a goatee?

  • 2. Rob McMillin  |  March 31, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    both the boys like to grab a shoe to carry around when they greet the people they love

    Fascinating! Romeo will grab a toy to greet us at the baby gates when we come home. (His preferred toy is the coconut-hair-filled wool chew bones we get at Trader Joe’s.) It’s the strangest thing. I didn’t know other dogs would do this as well.

  • 3. SmartDogs  |  March 31, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    You can even train a dog to do this. If you have a dog that is nippy and mouthy, it is a very good idea.

    Cap and Audie, however, taught themselves. And it is rather odd that they both like shoes.

  • 4. Eleanor  |  April 2, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    I know a Lab who is very vocal in her greetings, but MUST have something in her mouth to “talk”. One day she was wagging and chortling, and I asked her how she could be talking to me as there didn’t seem to be anything in her mouth.

    On closer inspection, she had the tiny corner of *a* pine needle sticking out.

    I once had two young male retrievers, both with a shoe fetish. If I was on the computer, it wasn’t unusual to have 7 or 10 shoes piled up on the desk next to me. They didn’t chew them. They just kept BRINGING them.

    Ruby also knows “fetch shoes” and gets sent back for “the other one.” She usually does bring a matching set, which I don’t remember putting in any concerted effort to teach her. She doesn’t know the difference between a pump and a sneaker though, so if I get the wrong first one, I’m going to have to get its match and THEN the pair I really wanted.

  • 5. Chas S. Clifton  |  April 7, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    In my house, it’s the young Chessie bringing gloves and hats from the gloves-and-hats basket.

    You think it’s greeting behavior? I thought it was more like when he drops a tennis ball in your lap: “You WILL notice me. You WILL entertain me.”

  • 6. Patrice  |  March 30, 2011 at 11:12 am

    My Irish Water Spaniel steals things — favorites are towels, underwear, and shoes. However, he probably thinks he’s not stealing — he’s trading his toy. It happens so often, that we took pictures of the results.

    http://patricedodd.wordpress.com/2009/03/16/cooper-the-fair-minded-thief/

  • 7. Jessica  |  October 4, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    My Border Collie will remove shoes, put them in the Shoe Trunk, close the lid, (he can’t open the lid) but if you open it he will bring you a matching pair, and that is from a giant box full of shoes.

    Perhaps it is a form of shoe-herding.

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