I love you both the same. How many times have I had to reassure my two dogs, in doggie language, that I love them the same? At least, I love them the same amount. Certainly not in the same way, as anyone with two (or more) dogs understands. I love Linus' spunky, black-eyes-snapping alertness as much as I love Bo's Eyore-like, block-headed sweetness.
This week, Steve and I were shooting a promo for The Loyal Dog with my two dogs, Linus and Bo (I will alternate which name goes first throughout this post so as to remove any hint or semblance of favoritism). We knew we could count on them to cooperate -- at least as far as dogs can be counted on to cooperate during a photo shoot. They are, after all, creatures with their own agendas, which rarely (if ever) includes helping you get the best possible picture. There are squirrels to chase, smells to examine, suspicious passers-by to guard against, all of which rank higher on the list than posing or modeling.
So what often happened this time was, as Steve was ready to take the shot, one of my little darlings would be perfectly still, ears forward and eyes soft, the picture of photogenic perfection, and the other would choose that moment to bark at a nearby squirrel or find a sudden need to itch, or to otherwise insist that the focus shift to him. It seemed like a deliberate, if not wholly conscious, desire to get attention away from the other dog at precisely the moment when we were most focused on giving it. We would look over at the offender, who would look at us, all innocence, as if to say, "Is it my turn now?"
Eventually, as happens every time, we were able to get the shots because that's the kind of bad-ass pro photographer Steve is (and because my dogs are so unbelievably cute, of course!). And the sibling rivalry not only didn't hurt the shoot, it added an interesting element to each photo, and when we look at the pictures now, the memories of their brotherly shenanigans day never fail to bring a smile.