We had a house guest over the weekend. She was basically polite, quite cute, neat, and kept to herself for the most part except at night, when she crawled into bed with me and my husband. Our house guest was a pug mix named Lola. I’m not sure what exactly that mix is. She has the face of a pug, with the angry forehead and perpetual under-bite, but the body of an obese pit bull.
Unfortunately, Lola found herself in the company of Jack, and the comparisons began before she even got in the door. Jack, our adorable terrier mix has been described as “a superior animal” and “the perfect dog.” He does not bark except when he’s outside and wants to be let in or when a stranger comes to the door. Lola barks every time a door is opened and at random times in the middle of the night.
Jack is not driven by food. Often times his breakfast goes half untouched for hours. He doesn't beg at the table, though he keeps me company while I cook, enthralled at the feats of magic taking place in the kitchen. (I sometimes take a bow.) Lola spends every waking moment in search of food. At mealtimes, her food dish was rapidly emptied at which time she moved on to Jack’s untouched food. We had to rig a lock on the pantry door as she instinctively knew that’s where all the goodies were. But she did a great job at cleaning the kitchen floor. A fat, brown Roomba™.
Lola had no boundaries. She was unaware of the subtle difference between living room furniture and family room furniture. I’d frequently find her asleep in the living room armchair, her head propped on a throw pillow like a princess. I don’t remember training Jack to stay off the furniture in the living room. He seems to know instinctively that those seats are reserved for humans.
Jack sleeps faithfully in his own bed, located at the foot of my own. He must sleep with one adoring eye open. He is immediately at attention when I make the slightest movement. Lola plodded right on up and wedged herself between me and my husband. When she got chilly, she burrowed under the covers. It was like sleeping with a bratwurst with teeth.
My daughter plays second fiddle for Jack’s attentions, as I am clearly the apple of his eye. His human. He tolerates her only when I am occupied or not around. Lola was easily seduced by the charms of a slow moving teenager and was a frequent snuggle buddy on the couch. I received several Snapchats showing the two of them nestled together, one which showed the two of them showing off their under-bites.
The weekend was a favor for Lola’s owners, but a grand experiment for us as we've been considering expanding our family and getting a second dog. The takeaway? Lola is a great dog. She’s sweet, affectionate, cute, and always ready for a walk. But she’s no Jack. We all agreed that even if we found another superior dog, it would always have to live up to the unrealistic bar set by our faithful friend. We are destined to be a one dog (plus one sadly ignored cat) house. And that’s just perfect.