Thursday, 29 November 2007

Sunday, 25 November 2007

Thursday, 22 November 2007

How old is your dog?

Well, obviously I don't know how old your dog is, but I do know how old Bingley is. Or at least I think that I do!

When I mentioned on the 6th November that he was six months old, I did so because he was 24 weeks old that day. I have a chart that gives me this information at a glance. I like charts: they help to give me the impression that things are well organised and under control. In this case it also helps me to make sure that we're feeding Bingley the right amount of food for his age and weight.

But as Bing's very good friend Claire pointed out, if he was born on the 22nd of May shouldn't he be 6 old months today: the 22nd of November? Well, yes...and no...or maybe. But what about my nicely planned chart?!

Of course, using the four weeks equals one month approach would mean that Bing's 1st birthday would be on the 22nd of April rather than the 22nd of May, which is a bit daft I admit (though I'm definitely going to adopt this method for my own birthdays - that way I'd turn out to be much younger than I am!).

I like my chart and I'm going to keep using it; but I also think that a good point has been made.

The answer, of course, is 2 birthdays - just like royalty: an official and an unofficial. So, if you want to come to Bing's 1st birthday party that'll be on the 22nd of May, but if you want to send him a card that should get here on the 22nd of April.

Of course all this will suit Bing down to the ground; he always assumes that he's the centre of attention anyway. But two birthdays really are going to give him a big head.

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

It's jazz, Bing

As you can tell from Jane's most recent post, we had a terrific walk with Bingley last Sunday. Without really planning it we ended up following part of the route of the previous days International Cross Country course, which was hosted by Gateshead Stadium; and although the weather on Saturday was appalling the course itself was a marvel: we felt like running ourselves! Bingley of course loved it, and if he'd been taking part on Saturday he'd have done well - at least on the sandy bits. Honestly, as soon as his paws touch sand he automatically goes into bum-tuck mode, charging backwards and forwards like there's no tomorrow.

But though we're having some great walks together, his intermittent bouts of timidity unfortunately continue; and they're just as unpredictable and unfathomable as ever. However, I've worked out that adopting a jolly hockey sticks voice and saying 'let's go along here, it'll be really good fun' helps, and gets us moving again. Although anyone who hears me will probably be wondering where on earth we're heading!

By this stage Bingley pretty much has the run of the house, whilst one of us is in that is: his toilet training has been a success and we now get a couple of nudges when he wants to go out. He's also got a pretty good idea of what he should and shouldn't be chewing; but his will power lets him down sometimes, so we still have to return him to his dog house if we're going out.

Being with us much of the day he's had to get used to all the music which we listen to, and thankfully he's turned out to be a fan of just about everything we play - though different styles affect him in different ways. Dancehall or any upbeat reggae gets him going (he's definitely a fan of Bingy Bunny!) and if I'm listening to that then we're guaranteed some play time. But if I put on some jazz he calms right down again! We're talking about Classic fifties jazz here, not high energy electric Miles or free jazz (wonderful though that is). But artists like Bill Evans, Wynton Kelly, Lee Konitz, and Stan Getz have all become part of our post evening meal 'settling down' time. A trombone solo can still make his ears prick up, and sometimes the quiet applause between tracks gets him looking around. But otherwise he's happy to lay there in front of the coal fire and relax.

Bing's definitely a real cool dog!

Sunday, 11 November 2007

Saturday, 10 November 2007