Thursday, 20 September 2007

Tooth fairy

I can't believe how quickly this has started to happen, but Bingley's baby teeth have begun to fall out. Just the tiny teeth at the front, but there are enough gaps to make him look like even more of a lout as he hangs his paws over the baby gate. We haven't actually found any of these teeth yet: the small ones will (I imagine) simply be swallowed; but the larger ones I really do fancy keeping - though if they end up being swallowed as well, then I'm not going to sort through his poo in order to find them. Nevertheless they'd make a nice memento, I think.

In order to help alleviate his now ferocious chewing we've upgraded his Wubba to the next size. It seems massive, though there were even larger sizes in the pet shop; but if this one is even half as successful as the first, I'll be satisfied. In fact he took to it straight away, chewing and making it squeak. It seems hard to believe that when he was given his first Wubba, his jaws weren't strong enough to generate a noise: this new one is three times the size and Bingley just picked it up and squeezed as though it was the easiest thing in the world and he'd always been doing it.

Not many fresh pics, I'm afraid. During the week I've been walking Bingley by myself, and because he's now acquired the confidence to toilet outside of the backyard, I usually end up with a poo-bag in one hand and the tugboat captain in the other: the idea of trying to juggle camera at the same time is a bit overwhelming. The captain tried to stage a mutiny yesterday! And again this morning. Yesterday was the worst attempt: people passing us by actually commented on his stubbornness as he dug his paws in and refused to move. He goes oddly deaf at times like this, and no amount of pleading will make him move, sit, look round, or whatever. Treats and an awareness of his, at times, incredibly useful short-term memory are essential on these occasions; but even then it was still a struggle.

Still, he hasn't counted on the depths of my patience or my higher powers of intellect (though these days, I'm not too sure about the latter!). I generally make him sit and wait whilst I open the backyard gates; I then want him to sit and wait once we're through so I can check for on-coming cars. This afternoon he would do one but not the other, and once we were through the gate he wanted to be off in that tug.

However, this time when he left the yard and tried taking off, he found himself back in the yard staring at the closed gates once more. It startled him the first time - the shortest walk ever! I waited a moment and tried again: no difference. It took, wait for it, 15 attempts...but then it worked. And not only that, he walked to heel for virtually the entire outing. The more experienced dog handlers amongst you will know just how good that feels: after two days of shoulder-wrenching tugboat pulling, to have him quietly trot to heel. Yes!

Not that I think it'll be plain sailing from now on; I'm sure that there's mutinous grumbling taking place below deck. But it's a start.

I bought a dog whistle today.....that's going to be interesting!

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