The shedding situation:
Labrador Retrievers shed. A lot. And always. (Don't let anyone kid you with that "twice a year coat blow" thing - it's not semi-annual, it's eternal.) Their outer coat is stiff like little sewing needles that weave their way into any penetrable fabric. Their undercoat is soft and fluffy. It accumulates like tumbleweeds in various corners of a home, yard, garden, vehicle and neighboring town. Beau is responsible for the early demise of more than one vacuum cleaner.
I don't shed. I 'accessorize'.
Bella doesn't quite win this one outright but she definitely scores higher marks. She sheds less, has far less undercoat and her top coat is somewhat shorter and therefore less likely to get stuck in things. That said, while Bella "appears" black, her fur is only black-tipped and is brown underneath so what shedding she does do shows up on everything you wear whether it's light or dark.
The drool experience:
Bella will drool on occassion if we're having something especially enticing for dinner. But it's a very thin and watery drool that leaves just a little puddle of drops where she's been waiting while we eat.
Beau had shoe-lace drool. As well as watery drool. Oceans of it. Think "Turner and Hooch" drool. I never left home without a towel.
The lap-dog phenomenon:
Most of us get a kick out of big dogs who think they're lap dogs but honestly, 115-pounds of bone-crushing, nerve-damaging dog leveled directly on your legs can become a bit of a nuisance. To be fair, once he realized he was too big to fit in my lap, Beau at least conceded to only needing to have part of him on me at any given time.
Leslie, Beau and Frodo
Bella has no interest in sitting in my lap. (Heck, she has only minimal interest in sitting on the couch with me and I'm pretty sure whether I'm there or not doesn't really factor into her decision.) But at just 55+ pounds, would it really be an issue if she did? She has recently shown interest, however, in lap-dogging during such "scary" events as windy days. I don't know, should I be worried?
The velcro-dog thing:
We seldom trip over Bella in the kitchen because she patiently waits in her place on the steps while we cook.
Beau had to be right next to me - always, even when cooking. He was tripped over often. And he was unspeakably lucky given my reputation with knives.
|More ME, please!|
Bella gives kisses, Beau did not (well, in 14 years, I think I got 3). Of course, given Bella's penchant for eating things like slugs and other unmentionables, I'm honestly not sure which one wins this contest.
Oh who am I kidding - I LOVE getting kisses! :)
And then there's this:
Beau's command list:
Sit, stay, drop it, get him (Translation: "Go get the cat out of the garbage, please.")
Bella's command list:
Sit, stay, down, wait, off, up, hug, snugs, peek-a-boo, leave it, drop it (sometimes), trade, come, front, foot, other foot, both, one foot*, two feet*, jump, speak, quiet, touch, say hi, show me, bring it (sort of), look, go to mat, finish, tunnel, kisses, high five, there (Translation: "I want you to go sit there"), to me, in, finish your dinner... And she trims her own nails.
As has been noted with the many stories shared in the previous comments by folks who have had similarly dissimilar dogs in their lives, love is a funny and wonderful thing that comes in all shapes and sizes. And I'm honored to have been given the opportunity to share mine with so many wonderful animals - these two crazy kids not least among them.
* These are related to touching an object such as a tip-py board and teeter-totter.