Monday, 10 September 2007

Virtual Bingley

So far you've only met the virtual Bingley: the idealised (and idolised!) little pooch, drop-dead gorgeous and good as gold. But we thought that it was high time that you shared glimpses of the real world Bingley: still handsome, still beguiling, but not always a little bundle of delight.

Some aspects of this other Bing are difficult to capture with the camera: the daily bouts of hiccoughs, something we were initially concerned about before we realised that it was just a puppy thing. Equally difficult to capture are those quite stunning jaw-splitting yawns accompanied by a sound like a squeaky wooden gate being slowly opened. If I'm working upstairs I can still hear those yawns, and that now familiar sound tells me when he's waking up!

But here's a photo of his needle sharp teeth.

Unfortunately we've become all too familiar with those alligator jaws! Teaching bite-inhibition has been an on-going chore since day one; it's proving to be effective, that's for sure - but it's been hard work, especially for Jane. Having said that, that's been the only real problem so far (well, apart from the over-zealous affection for anything remotely fleecy!). He’s due to begin teething though, and we’ve had glimpses of not too appealing adolescent behaviour recently: whining and the stamping of paws when he can’t get his own way. Getting has own way usually involves playing tug-of-war with him and his Wubba, or stroking his tummy until he falls asleep. Oddly enough, and don’t ask me how I figured this one out (I’m just naturally cunning, I guess) singing him a little lullaby gets him to sleep in seconds. Guaranteed! Possibly he’s just trying to escape the sound of my voice: ‘Okay, okay, I’ll go to sleep – just stop making that noise!’ But singing him 'Bingley's Sleepy Song' always works.

He learns things incredibly quickly (when he wants to); toilet training has been easy, and 'sit' seemed almost automatic. We're now working on 'stay', and that seems to be coming along nicely as well…..on the whole! Walking to heel is still a challenge though, and the tugboat captain is there a lot of the time; but there are definite signs that he's preparing to give up the helm - especially if it involves a nibble of something tasty as a reward! But jumping up to greet everyone he meets is still a problem (sorry, Wendy!). So I'll let you know how things progress with that over the next week.

Of course a lot of this training is a two way process and it requires us to be able to read the signals. Inevitably we do come to loggerheads at times, and he has managed to quietly get his own back more than once! We recently left him, as we thought, quietly settled; only to return a short while later to find....

Notice the incriminating evidence on his muzzle, and how the little reprobate can now hang his paws over the top of the gate. Boys will be boys I suppose: I was always taking things apart to see how they worked, Bingley clearly has similar inclinations – and in this case it’s also preparation for the snowy adventures yet to come. And yes, we’re back to the Ikea bed…..I’ll tell you that story later!

This destructive streak doesn’t stop with his bed, but it does end with his tail. Honestly, he spends ages chasing his own tail and then chewing on it! Why? It’s lucky that we aren’t taking him to any dog shows or we’d have to resort to hair gel in order to repair that, by now, well-chewed and ragged tail-end!

So you see: Bingley isn’t Mr Perfect after all!

Still, when we go to check that he’s okay and find him asleep like this, it all seems worth it

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