Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Dogs & Cats

Bingley's daily walks are gradually returning to normal, though he's definitely become very particular about which route we choose. He now often wants to walk around an invisible object which has stopped him in his tracks: a foot to the left, or a foot to the right and we're off again; but go straight on? No way!

As I've mentioned, I'm pretty certain that all this is somehow related to his teething; but at the rate his teeth are falling out there can't be much longer to go before that's all over and done with. I actually watched him spit one out on the lounge rug yesterday evening: we were sitting in front of the fire and I could see him moving his jaws around and licking his teeth, then out popped a lovely little upper right canine. Checking Bingley's mouth this morning, the adult tooth is already well on it's way. Amazing! I had no idea that they grew so quickly.

But of course, even though Bingley's getting bigger each day he's still very much a puppy. I’ve actually started referring to him as ‘little boy’ simply to remind myself that he’s just 5 months old and only a baby: at nearly 23 kilos that’s sometimes easy to forget. However, I suspect that even when he's older he'll still find it difficult to not chase cats, and we had our first taste of that on Sunday when, after discovering a new set of fields for Bingley to explore, we let him off-lead. We'd already spotted the cat who was bathing in the early morning sun (it really was a lovely morning), and the cat had certainly spotted Bingley. But it was quite a way off and didn't move away, and Bingley, oblivious to this temptation, wandered off in the opposite direction. It was only much later that he spotted this little black thing with headlamp eyes. He took a couple of steps towards it, and then stopped. At this point we could have gone over and popped his lead back on, but he often sits and watches the rooks and seagulls on Bingley's Field without chasing them - so we thought that we'd just wait and see what happened next (and by all means laugh, or gasp, at our naiveté!).

I've got to say that he caught us unaware by wandering off in different direction at first: but that was clearly some atavistic instinct to feign disinterest in his quarry, because he then suddenly spun round and made a beeline for the cat. Once the little feline realised that standing up and arching its back wasn't going to stop this 23k of ambling energy, it turned and sauntered away. Bingley of course followed, and by this stage Jane & I were starting to whistle and call. (Yeah, you're right - what were we thinking?!). Ignoring his adoring parents, Bing started to catch up with the cat who then wisely decided that it'd better start running, which of course was all the encouragement Bingley needed. He blurred out through the field gates and down the road before we could catch our breath. People often talk of their lives flashing by in front of them during critical moments; well, Bing's flashed in front of mine on Sunday. Luckily, the cat ran onto a quiet cul-de-sac and then up onto a fence; by the time we caught him, Bingley had given up on the idea of catching this little ball of fur and was lolloping back towards us with a definite ‘that was great fun’ look on his face.

Once our heart rates had returned to normal we resumed our walk, some of it off lead - but more closely supervised. I know better than to think that this will never happen again, it’s what dogs do (even I know that!); but next time I won't be so complacent!

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