Graham is a very good dog. He wants you to know that when he needs something, that he is a very good dog, an obedient dog, a well-taught dog who is willing to sit posing and ready for whatever treat or reward or filled water bowl or door opening or toy he happens to want or need at the moment.
Sofie is not a good dog and does not wish to be confused with those who would sit around perched passively for the world to happen to them. No, she wants what she wants, needs what she needs, and is willing to jump and leap and bark and nibble at wrists to get it. In a pinch she will even go and grab a stuffed animal, a sacrifice to the gods, which humans seem to find amusing and trade if for her dinner or a scritch or permission to get up onto the bed. She works noisily for her supper.
Molly is patient and thoughtful. She loves you. She considers situations and avoids, when possible, the scrum of conflict in favor of contemplation out at the edges of action. While others may argue she rests peacefully in the corner hoping that those who adore her will come to her side and fulfill her needs in full and in their own pace and time.
Into this trichotomy comes Hunter, the puppy who learns quickly which pup gets fed and which gets love. He jumps around at dinner time barking with Sofie, ecstatic at the possibility of a filled belly or perhaps getting an extra scrap that someone has discarded by showing how much passion and enthusiasm he has for his nums, who sits proudly by the back door as if posing for a statue, like the good dog Graham teaches him to be, knowing the knob will be turned for the proud one appearing most regal and deserving, who snuggles in secret while others wrestle over a squeaky animal, turning the wheels of power behind the scenes and receiving, in turn, love like Molly. Sussing out his skillset.
Recall your first success, that first victory. Was it awarded because you worked the hardest, were the most beautiful, or knew how to suck up to the right people? Was it persistence, or talent, or your honest face? When you enter a workplace or new room do you fall back on that initial addiction, your most soul-close skill, the guaranteed lever that releases, for you, the magic pill? Which brush of creativity do you choose to draw your masterpiece, beautiful thin lines of watercolors that arc across the page sketching out the inches of the opus you continually tell?