Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Sand baby

It's been another hectic week with barely time to stop and think, and it's just as well that Bingley still sleeps a lot because he's had to spend a few mornings and a couple of afternoons by himself; though never for more than a two or three hours at a time.

We've been having some good fun on our walks, but I'm sorry to say that the bouts of agoraphobia continue. Patience, treats and lots of encouragement seems to lure him out of his reluctance to move on after one of these episodes, though it's often followed by a mad dash to get that particular part of the street out of the way.

I still can't think of anything that might have caused this behaviour, and it isn't consistent: unlike full-blown agoraphobia where the dog simply won't leave the house, Bing gets giddy merely at the idea of a walk, and he can't wait to get out there. But throughout the walk, and especially on the streets, I'm now used to spending regular periods trying to encourage him to continue. There are definite indications that this phase is starting to pass, but if it goes on much longer then we'll have to go and visit the vet just to make sure that everything's ok.

The perplexing thing is that besides that everything else is fine and most of the walks go really well. The only other issue is his now well-honed ability to vacuum up anything that looks remotely edible as he passes it by. He's so quick at this! Today it was a black banana peel followed by someone's discarded apple. The banana peel I was too slow to catch and he sucked it up like a length of liquorice before I could stop him, the apple I didn't even know about until I heard him crunching.

He's also, it appears, got a taste for fox poo - something we encountered for the first time on Sunday morning. And whoa, does that smell awful or what?! Nevertheless, Bingley being Bingley finds it irresistible and gobbled most of it up before we could stop him: he really is disgusting at times!

But nothing excites him more than sand (though thankfully he hasn’t started eating it!). Parts of our walk cover Gateshead International Stadium’s new cross-country course and parts of that are sand covered. I’m not sure if Bing knows about cross-country yet but as soon as he gets onto one of the sandy patches he’s off like a shot, bum-tucking backwards and forwards like a mad March hare. He’s obviously a sand baby and loves running on it. Goodness knows what he’s going to make of the beach when we finally get down there!

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