Monday, 20 October 2008

Do come in, Bingley!

The past few weeks have been all about allergies, I'm sorry to say. Adventures and misadventures continue, but the wonder of Bing has for much of the time been overshadowed by his condition.

It's incredibly frustrating and distressing to see his Atopic dermatitis growing steadily worse. In fact a couple of weeks ago we had to contact his dermatologist once again and Bingley is now on a combination of medication and cortisone spray, as well as his monthly allergy inoculation.

Unfortunately all this medication hasn’t made a lot of difference. At least not yet; maybe in the long run his allergies will disappear, we certainly hope so. But in the short run things have been pretty wretched.

Nevertheless, his energy and enthusiasm remain undiminished. This month I’m due to begin administering Bingley’s inoculations myself; and although I’m not especially looking forward to it, it’ll be nice not to have to trek up to the vet every 3 or 4 weeks. I think his vet practice might be relieved as well!

Bing loves going to the vet. Which I suppose is better than not wanting to go; but he loves it a bit too much. As soon as the building comes into sight we see the return of Bugsy McTugsy. The real problem here is that Bugsy is now bigger than he used to be. And stronger. And much more determined.

I’m not sure of the actual physics of dog pulling but the results are definitely physical! He’s 38 kilos now, but when he goes into full tug mode the forward force must be 2 or 3 times his own body weight. Suffice to say that as we approach the vet I begin to resemble a water skier clinging on to a canine speedboat. Who needs the Iditarod?

Once we get to the vet practice I like to try to have a quick glance into the waiting room before we enter. It’s good for us to be prepared, but it also gives me chance to shout out a quick warning to the other visitors. On my last visit I slowly opened the door, whilst vainly trying to restrain Bing, and found myself coming face to face with a little dog who was sitting on someone’s knee and peeping around the door frame.

In the blink of an eye Bingley leapt up with breathtaking enthusiasm and energy, smashing the door wide open with a resounding bang. Everyone who was waiting jumped up and away from the entrance, and staff in the back rooms dashed to the front desk to see what on earth was going on. The echoing silence was broken only when one of the vets realised who it was and said ‘Do come in, Bingley!

Muttering apologies I wrestled the squirming bundle of Bing into the quietest corner I could find.

I like our vet practice and the staff like Bingley, even though they can’t get that close to him. Thinking that he must be hot and thirsty one of them brought out a bowl of water. That’s a nice touch, I thought; but I didn’t know then that the bowl was soon to become a key prop in that day’s slapstick adventures.

We didn’t have to wait long until being called into one of the consulting rooms. GREAT, thinks Bing, a new room with new smells. Pulling me in, the first thing he did once Moira had gone to collect his vaccine from the fridge, was cock his leg against the desk and give it a good squirt. Then having made that authoritative statement he began to explore the rest of the space. As I was looking around for some tissues Moira returned and deftly took over mopping up the pool. ‘It happens all the time’ she said. Especially with this one, I felt like adding.

Once back at the counter it was time to pay the bill and make the next appointment. Before sorting all that out I made Bingley sit. He’s good at sitting, he really is. In fact his sit-stays can be exemplary. But unfortunately I hadn’t noticed that just behind us was the door to another consulting room.

Thinking that all was safe and that Bingley was securely in sit-stay mode, I relaxed and began to sort out the paperwork. Then with no warning the door behind me opened. Two people, two voices, a small dog (quickly whisked up into the owner’s arms), and the switch in Bingley’s head flipped! He spun me round like corkscrew and in his single minded determination to say hello he tipped over the metal water bowl which had been left for him. He should be in a circus I remember thinking as I watched the bowl do a clattering somersault across the floor. The water immediately transformed the smooth floor covering into something resembling an ice rink. Desperately clinging onto the lead I watched Bingley’s paws blur and skew as he tried to gain traction, then I looked up at the vet who was laughing and shaking her head in disbelief. ‘Sorry, sorry’, I mumbled. It didn’t seem adequate.

It happens all the time’ laughed the receptionist as she guided me to a dry bit of floor. I’m getting used to hearing that, I reflected.

Once outside, after he’d tried peeing in the porch, I made Bingley sit whilst I attempted to regain my composure and I found myself wondering if all this was worth it.

I looked down at him; hazel eyes looked back up at me.

It's definitely worth it, I thought.


Anonymous said...

Rob what a funny report of your visit to the vets, although I'm sure you felt so embarrassed. I tell you what it reminded me of that episode on 'Blue Peter' when the young elephant dragged his keeper through all his droppings and had to go with the flow!! Well done Rob, you are very brave tackling the vets on your own!!

Sue said...

Sorry Rob! I forgot to register that it was me with the first comment yesterday. I suppose I was so excited and entertained at the new Blog that the thought of saying my name was just too much for me!!

Rob said...

I remember that episode of Blue Peter, Sue; but at the time I never imagined that one day I’d be living through my own version of it!

Nearly all of my visits to the vet involve some variation on this theme and Bingley has gained quite a reputation. Nevertheless his charisma usually saves the day and we always end up chatting and laughing with other people in the waiting room.

His antics are embarrassing at times and always exhausting.

But I wouldn’t change a thing!