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I think that most of us on this forum can agree that animals have distinct, individual personalities that are at least as varied as the human animal...and if we don't realize it fully, it's because they express themselves in different ways, such as posture, or how lidded the eye is, or any one of a million ways of expressing things without talking.

Both of my boys, Gus and Buscemi, are very opinionated guys. I feel as though I can "read" Gus fairly well...although sometimes it takes me awhile to figure out what he is trying to communicate. Once I have caught on, he's "trained" me forever. :) It's more difficult for me to figure Buscemi out, but I think that's just because he's much younger, and we haven't spent as much time around each other yet. The longer you know someone, the more meaningful the small gestures become. (For their part, Gus and Boo are doing a very good job of learning the important English words, like their name, and "SWEETIE" - the most important word! They also know other words, like "come here," but sometimes they *ahem* "forget" those words. ;) )

When I brought a 4 week old Buscemi home to a 7 1/2 month old Augustus as a "Little Brother," Gus was originally apprehensive. I did the introductions slowly, and carefully, and ALWAYS reassured Gus that I loved him, and gave him first pick at Sweeties, and let him play longer. (This was fine with Boo, who was so excited about the World to notice! :lol: )

After awhile, Gus came to trust that he and I had a very strong bond of love - a word he knows - and that Buscemi would never come between that. And he was, from then on, very generous with Boo. He's share toys, treats, and even his most treasured and special thing...his "hidden" drawer! (I thought he'd be OK with Boo playing in his cabinets in the bathroom, but was pretty sure that he'd kick Boo right out of the drawer...but I was wrong. Gus gave him a tour.)

Now, all this time, I've been seeing the set-up of the "family" to be that I am the Mommy, and that Gus and Boo are my little boys; brothers.

I found out tonight that I was wrong! OH, so wrong!!!

Gus set me straight, in a number of ways that finally "clicked" when we were out playing tonight. The way our "pack" works is this:

He is the Alpha Male Leader. He will care for me and Boo (as long as the supplies are always given to him by...well, wherever food and bedding come from! ;) ) He's always happy to share. I am HIS woman. By his side, I help to lead the "pack," and keep unruly members in place. "Unruly members" would be Boo - Gus' and my "little kid." Gus will love Boo Like A Father, and thus, will share his special stuff, and let Boo win when they wrestle, and a million other things. Gus will teach him "how to be a rat," as it were. But, together, Gus and I have to keep Boo from getting out of hand! :lol:

When I realized how he regarded this situation, I burst out laughing! In my mind, I was seeing a traditional "family portrait," with me as the mom, Gus in a suit as the dad, and Boo down below us, much shorter, in kids' clothes! That would give people something to look at if I hung it on the wall!

I was so amused that I thought I would share it here, because if anyone can appreciate this story/realization, it's fellow rat lovers.

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If anyone is interested in "creating" the above "family portrait," just for fun, I would love to see it, and print it out! I don't know how to do stuff like that on the computer, but I know that some people do, and so, if you want to, I'm including a few "source" photos whose heads can be stuck on other bodies. (Of course, if you don't want to, then don't. Only if this kind of thing is fun for you.)

Either way, hope you liked the story! :)

Mommy And Friend:



Daddy:



Little Boo:



Edited to find better image.
 

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That was a great read! Made me tear up from laughing so hard when I read the part about how your Mr. Guss is seeing things. :p Anyways I LOVE photoshop and wouldnt mind trying tp make a cute family portrait. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks! Can't wait to see it!

It's so funny, when you can figure out how your pets see their world!

To my dog, Pee Wee, the main question is, "Can I eat it?" :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Here are the best photos I can find, as far as facial close-ups. (I chose a different one of me...I had long braids in this one. :) )

Me:



Boo:



I don't have any better face ones of Gus, yet. So far, he either turns his head, or there's too much flash, or it's through the bars. (You don't want one through the bars, do you?)

Sorry the response took so long...I was looking.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Oh, geez, I posted giant photos! Sorry! I didn't mean to do that!
 

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I dont know if you'd like a title or what not above you head, like (your last name or something) Family Portrait; but heres what I have so far.... I didnt think about photoshoping just their heads onto bodies that could have has little tux on before hand, but I could do that after and see what it might look like with that idea as well.

 

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Discussion Starter #10
The portrait is BEAUTIFUL!!! I'm going to print it out on some nice paper, and frame it!

I have 13 earrings in my left ear, and 14 in my right. :)
 

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I don't have any good paper yet, AND my printer is printing with these tiny lines, but I still printed out a "pretty good" copy and hung it up! It's SO, SO darling!!!

It's so funny when we see how our pets perceive their lives. :lol:

Again, thanks so much!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
It has a lot of cool stuff in there, like cardboard packaging to gnaw, and clean but old makeup brushes to rearrange. :)

Gus stores his love letter and envelope - yes, he actually got mail from his girlfriend rat - in the cabinets. It's a very "personal" area. But hey, your kid is your kid...

:lol:
 
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