When we adopted Lucky and Rocky, we had no idea that they would turn out to be the stereotypical odd couple. Rocky came home with us first and quickly settled in and within hours had ingratiated himself to every member of the household. He would enter a room, make his way to each person and spend a bit of time cuddling and making eye contact, as if saying, “Hello, my name is Rocky! I’m harmless and lots of fun. Let’s be friends!” What he lacked in years, he made up tenfold in pure puppy charm. No one could resist his playful personality and big, black innocent eyes. Within a week, he had all of us wrapped around his itty bitty puppy paws.
Lucky came home with us the following week after recuperating at the shelter following her spaying procedure. Unlike Rocky, Lucky’s demeanor was decidedly more hesitant as she acclimated to her new home. We attributed this difference to two things: she was likely a stray for an extended period of time and had seen a harsher world outside the shelter than Rocky and she was also physically recovering from a surgical procedure. What they did have in common, though, was that when it came to being around us, they took like fish to water and could not get enough affection.
Rocky, being the first to join our household, immediately assumed the leadership position. He welcomed Lucky to the doggy den we set up in the corner of the family room leading out to the back yard, but also made it clear that she should observe and follow him as he already knew the lay of the land.
Surprisingly, Lucky was very happy to follow his lead. We spent many afternoons watching Rocky play the role of army general/cocky tour guide to Lucky’s quiet, awkward new kid in school. Before long, however, we observed that Lucky followed Rocky not so much because he intimidated her, as we initially assumed, but rather because she regarded him as a more hyper and energetic younger brother to be tolerated whenever possible.
Within a few days after Lucky’s arrival, the two had become fast friends and ultimately conspirators in crime. Rocky would almost always be the brains of the operation, leading the two astray as they explored the backyard, chewing up flower beds and jumping on patio furniture they weren’t supposed to, and Lucky would be the sometimes too quiet and timid voice of reason, fleeing first when their naughty exploits were uncovered by my mom.
That’s not to say, though, that Lucky did not have a fair bit of influence on shaping Rocky’s behavior.
I learned by chance one afternoon that Lucky had taught Rocky a few tricks as well, when one of my friends glanced out the window at the pair and asked, “Hey, why does Rocky pee like a girl?”
Lesson learned. Never underestimate dear, sweet Lucky.