Siblings. At 10 years old, older and younger brothers and sisters are the bane of our existence. The natural pecking order decrees, the older sibs pick on us and the younger ones, by nature of being the littlest, bug us. By the time we’re 25, those same unbearable beasts are our best friends. The years in between are layered with childish fights over who is Granny‘s favorite, who got the bigger slice of apple pie and cries of “am-so-am-not’s”! Years that are peppered with spats over who received better grades, scored higher on a test and was most popular at school. Throughout is the underlying rivalry of ‘besting them’, a thin whisper of competitiveness threaded between siblings to do just as well, if not better. To out-score, out-smart and out-win the beast from our younger years.
Though poles apart in personality, talent and smarts, Amore and Dolce do share one thing in common – sibling rivalry. They know if they have been slighted, if one receives an extra indulgence over the other, when the other is benefiting from special attention, and whether or not they have been left behind from a trip in the car. Their competitiveness kicks in as they jockey for position to sit next to me on the couch for their nighttime loving. Dolce especially, as she backs into the pocket between the couch pillows and my side, scooting closer and closer against me as Amore attempts to come around by the back of the sofa to divide, separate and conquer. Jealousy takes over if one of the girls is getting all the petting and belly rubs. Nose nudging the elbow to disrupt the canine massage, they will manuever their furry head to steal some ear-scratching pleasure.
If one has a toy, the other one wants it. Not to chew on, just to know that they can take it away. Dibs on the pooch pillow is ignored, losing their favorite spot if they leave their warm perch to go outside. All of a sudden they are mathematicians, counting the exact number of treats, to the last kibble given and to whom, and know if an additional delicious nugget was dropped and caught by the other. On leash, Amore takes the lead, her nose just inches past Dolce’s, but ahead none the least. Going to the store, Dolce is riding shotgun no matter what, at no matter what cost. Amore can out run, out race her sis. Dolce out-smarts and out-wits her litter mate. On occasion, we’ll hear a low growl, the start of a sibling squabble, resulting in a pout from Amore or a yelp from Dolce. Just as quick, its forgotten, the toy ignored.
At four years old, Amore and Dolce are best buddies’, side by side. They share their food but not their treats. Amore pulls ahead on walks, Dolce grabs the front seat on trips. Both can do the math.