I never quite realised how similar these two things would be until I got Reuben the Vizsla 6 months ago. Reuben is 8 months old now and my son who is 18 regularly has his friends around and I swear that Reuben and he and his friends are at the same age level.
They play silly games together. They bait each other. They chase each other. Reuben is smart enough to work out what, on a table full of “stuff”, is the important piece to my son or his friends and very delicately picks it up and . . . runs full pelt in the opposite direction with it, with my son and his mates in hot pursuit.
I’ve taught the boys that when Reuben does this it is not to piss them off, but to play with them. The boys understand this concept now. Who’d-a thunk I would be teaching teenage boys more about canine behaviour than the canine about boundaries?
Either way I’m chuffed that they are playing so well together. This too makes me smile a lot. Reuben is happy they’re playing with him and they are laughing long and deeply at his antics, which in turn fires up their endorphins and make them happy. I’d like to believe that his has been a large factor in tempering what was previously a rather grumpy teenage boy.
I’m sure that securing an apprenticeship at a workplace he enjoys and having a regular income are also major factors in his ongoing happiness but I like to think that Reuben also has a little something to do with it because the laughter he inspires in all of us is heartfelt and unbridled.
Reuben loves us all unconditionally and we have no choice but to do the same. How do I know we do? Well because we can laugh so deeply with him and at his antics and we all look out for his well-being.