I’m going with nurture…

Our golden retrievers, Fidelio (the one born with Spina Bifida and now being treated for a Gingival Fibrosarcoma), Rodolfo and Casey are all related.  Fidelio and Casey are brothers from the same litter (wombmates?), while Rodolfo was born a year later to the same mother, making him their half-brother.

8 years ago when we went to get Fidelio, our neighbor CC had just euthanized his ancient dog, and was lonely.  He came along with us, fell in love with Casey, and adopted him.  Living nearby, Casey would be brought over to romp with our dogs during playtime, and was well-socialized with other animals.  When CC died in 2014 at the ripe old age of 86, Casey came to live with us.

The difference in personality between Casey and his bothers is quite evident.  He doesn’t crawl into laps like his brothers, and while they relish being hugged and cuddled, he sits there looking rather embarrassed.  He also won’t come up on a bed when invited, and when placed there can’t get off soon enough.  His brothers, meanwhile, LOVE sharing the bed with their people.

Part of it may be from the fact that he was left “intact”.  CC was an old-school man, horrified by the idea of castration.  As a result, Casey was a world-champion leg humper when we got him.  Needless to say, we remedied that quickly enough.

But the fact remains that we don’t see much of the family traits in Casey, and attribute it to his upbringing in a different environment.  He’s probably the best proof of Nurture trumping Nature that we’ve seen.



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February 16, 2018

RYN: I was voted homecoming queen of the cardiac unit at Sarasota Memorial Hospital.

Ive missed you and your drollness. Now that Christopher Hutchins has left the building, you’re my favorite Contrarian. That is high praise indeed.

February 16, 2018


February 16, 2018

@ipsofacto We used to (jokingly) convey the Golden Bedpan upon patients who showed up frequently.

February 16, 2018

awe.. sweet babies.

I wonder, if due to CC’s age it had to do with training, at 86..a dog jumping up might have been rather a problem and hugs weren’t offered if CC wasn’t affectionate or had arthritis, etc to keep him from stooping and hugging Casey?

(all our pets are just one thing.. naughty 😉 they all come from different areas/rescues and just.. naughty lol)

February 16, 2018

If there was an olympic event for leg humping, I think my mom’s dog would get a spot on the podium too.

Regarding your neighbour, my experience is that anyone who who goes along looking at dogs comes home with one.

February 16, 2018

My goldens are brothers and have completely different personalities. One is quiet, the other outgoing. The only thing they do agree on is that human beds are far more comfy than dog beds.

February 17, 2018

wombmates? Seriously?

February 17, 2018

Very nice to have Goldens. I have a Rough Collie, maybe you remember.

February 20, 2018

It’s amazing how our animals become our kids isn’t it??

As for him being different… I have owned A LOT of animals in my life and where love/nurture does indeed make a HUGE difference with animals… Not all are as social towards humans as others… I think it’s just a matter of that particular animal’s personality… Even from the same family…

February 28, 2018

I love how they all have such different personalities. Our dogs are the same way. ONe likes to sleep with us, the other will stay for a short while then head under. I wish he would cuddle with me.