When The Narrator was young, he was petrified by animals. He tolerated our two cats because they were always around, but any other exposure to animals was treated as a minor catastrophe. I remember the first time we went pumpkin picking with my parents and had him near a horse. The owner tried to be nice and asked if he wanted to sit on the animal.
Only recently has he come around to accepting my parents’ dogs as not being dangerous creatures that are out to destroy him. He’ll play a little bit with my mutt (who lives with my parents) but it mostly involves chasing and screaming.
Mini-Me, however- is an animal lover. He’ll grab the cats, bury his face in their fur, and even after enduring a panic scratch or two from them, he’ll go straight back to it.
The dogs? He loves them. Not only my mutt, but my sister’s St. Bernard too. Saints are often described as ‘gentle giants’ – and after seeing the brute with my son, its no question why. As big and dopey as he is, the animal walks as if he’s on eggshells around Mini-Me, and won’t ever shift his weight entirely.
My mutt, who is half saint herself, is as gentle as ever with him, and adores him. If we go visit and he doesn’t see the dogs, he gets bummed.
That is mini-me with my mutt. He’s stood on her tail and she just doesn’t care. He’ll grab two-fists-full of her fur and she’ll look at him with nothing more than mild interest. The Narrator still has to be coaxed to pet her. He keeps asking when we can get a puppy, but at the same time, every time we come near a dog, he’s in ‘hide’ mode.
This is one of the examples that I use to describe just how completely opposite the two boys are from each other. They’re two halves of the same coin. Aside from looking like they’re related, there is nothing in action or demeanor that is similar between them. Its completely astounding. Mini-Me’s fondness and curiosity towards animals is also just a little bit worrying- they are also an indication that the little guy is completely fearless. Imagine being 16 months old and seeing a 160 pound St. Bernard looking down his drooling muzzle at you. Scary right? Hell, I know adults that would climb a tree at the sight of the beast….but not this little guy. He’ll have a finger pointed right at that wet and soggy nose, utter the ever-present “Daaaaa!” – and charge.
I’m really hoping he doesn’t come across a bear before these antics change slightly.
In reality- this post was also a chance for me to gratuitously post a photo of my first baby (the dog) and the newest one. (Mini-Me) My middle ‘child’ – The Narrator, was unavailable for a photo op at this time. Most likely he was in the basement with Grandpa playing with the train set.