Genevieve and Murray are our two Golden Retrievers.We had no idea what we were getting ourselves in to when we brought home Genevieve. We had talked about a dog and instantly fell in love when we saw that adorable face of hers! Then the behavioural problems began. Her and I fought for dominance constantly. She would jump on the couch and yank on my hair. She would bite my bum. She chewed anything and everything. She ate my favourite coffee table, my not so favourite coffee table, carpet, rugs, the wall, doormats, pillows, blankets, socks...anything she could get her little paws on. We went through numerous leashes because she had a horrible habit of chewing them in half. We stopped buying her the expensive toys because she'd have them ripped apart in seconds. And she never seemed to tire herself out. She was six months old when we started bringing her to the dog park. We would be there for 2 hours or more, come home and she would still be into something the minute we turned our backs. Suffering from a major case of ADHD and Separation Anxiety, Genevieve was never content to just lay at the other end of the couch, she needed to be right on top of you while you pet her every second of every day and would act out when you left the room she was in.
At this point my husband and I had already been talking about getting another dog. Genevieve was a handful but we absolutely loved her. I began thinking perhaps what she needed to keep her busy was a companion. So when Genevieve was 8 months old we introduced her to 2 month old Murray.
From the minute Murray came home, Genevieve became an entirely new dog. They played for hours, tiring one another out. Genevieve stopped wrecking everything because she was too preoccupied with Murray. She wasn't all over us every second of the day for attention because she had Murray to keep her company. When she came home from the dog park with extra energy to expel, she turned to Murray.
She was great with Murray. They'd play tug of war for hours. It was adorable to watch because Genevieve was 65lbs when Murray came home and he weighed 8lbs. She could have easily snatched every toy away from him but instead would pretend that he was really strong and let him get the toy after a good tug of war fight. If he wanted something she had, she would gladly give it up for him. She would let him eat first, to make sure he got what he needed. Genevieve was never jealous of Murray, she was too excited to have a friend to play with!
Murray has always been an extremely loyal and loving dog. He has always listened to us, caught on quickly and rarely misbehaved. I think a lot of that was because Genevieve kept him so busy! Unlike Genevieve, he had bursts of energy but knew his limits. When he was tired he would retreat to his crate to have a nap and refuel. I was so used to Genevieve's abnormally high level of energy that I was actually worried something was wrong with Murray for the first few weeks we had him simply because he was so calm in comparison! At the dog park Murray preferred to remain close by to us and mastered the command 'come' by the time he was 3 months old! People would look at us in disbelief as this small pup would run past them, straight to me when I'd call! On the other hand it took Genevieve a few years to calm down enough that she wanted to listen to us!
Together these two have formed an incredibly close bond. They are more than just friends, they are each other's family. They love to spend weekends swimming at the cottage, playing fetch at the dog park and a good round of tug of war. Even with other dogs around they prefer the company of one another. When one is tired and the other wants to play they will grab a toy, wave it in the other's face and growl excitedly. Then the fun begins again! They often sleep beside one another, on top of one another or with their paws touching.
Genevieve still has the same love of life, and the same love for people, but she listens now, she tires out after a normal amount of exercise and we don't have fights over who's the boss anymore. She has grown from a beautiful puppy in to an even more beautiful dog. Murray still bounces like a pup but has grown in to one handsome dog. Although he could easily over power Genevieve now that he's fully grown, he continues to accept that she's the dominate dog in their relationship. He is the same gentle and obedient boy that I fell in love with all of those years ago. He's not perfect though - once in a while he loves to wreck a good tennis ball!