Monday, 19 January 2009

The K-Spot

Why is it that when they’re given a choice dogs will always opt for the disgusting?

Bingley loves new toys and will go giddy with excitement when he’s given one. But ask him to go and get a toy out of his collection and he’ll always choose the dirtiest, smelliest, most dog-eared saliva-hardened toy he can find. Stinky for us, but dog toy nirvana for Bingley.

Of course when we’re out walking the chances of finding something disgusting are infinite, and if it’s out there Bingley will find it. If he’s on-lead he can be fairly well behaved and not even try to get to that plastic tray of cold left over curry; but he has been known to almost pull me over in an attempt to get to a discarded bag of fish and chips.

He loves fish and he’s always keen to remind me that he loves fish. When he dug up an old cod, which must have been dropped by an angler several months before, he couldn’t wait to run back and proudly show me what he’d found. My lack of enthusiasm must have disappointed him because I couldn’t see anything appealing about the mulchy mass hanging out of his mouth and I made him drop it at once. As we walked away he kept stopping and looking back longingly, before casting perplexed sidelong glances up at me.

That was one of the less disgusting finds; the list, I’m sorry to say, goes on and on and includes one unidentifiable pile of gloop with a smell which still makes me gag as I think of it. Honestly, half an hour later I still had to turn away my head as I clipped on his lead. Bingley of course was in seventh heaven and has made several attempts to get back to the gloop so he can finish it off.

These indiscretions continue inside the house and he has little respect for my increasingly vain attempts to keep things clean and tidy. Quite frankly I don’t know how other dog owners manage to keep their living rooms looking so nice!

Or maybe it’s just us. As far as we’re concerned Bingley is sharing our house and if he wants to sit on the kitchen floor to munch his Kong, as we sit at the table munching our meal, then that’s just fine. The problem is that he wants to chew his Kong on the same spot every time.

We bought the kitchen rug just before we bought Bingley, and when we bought the kitchen rug we had no idea that we were going to buy a Bingley. In terms of dog friendly rugs it was possibly the worst choice we could have made. Light-coloured natural fibre, it looked lovely for about a month. Then Bing turned up. Over the past year or so his claws have desiccated the surface of the rug and his paws have turned the cream colour into a muddy shade of beige. Not only that, we now have the K-Spot.

When I was younger I remember hearing relatives talking excitedly about G-plan furniture: it was something everyone wanted to have. But for reasons best left to an analyst (or very close friends) I used to imagine that the G-Spot & G-Plan were related and thought that there was something daring about the way my aunties were candidly enthusiastic about how comfortable the furniture must be. It was my first experience of the wonders hidden behind the ordinary.

I’m not sure if dogs have a G-Spot, but if they do it’s probably in their nose! Bingley however definitely has a K-Spot: it’s the area on the kitchen rug where he always goes to chew his Kong. The only variation in the colour of our now muddy-beige rug is a darkening, waxy looking spot which marks the place Bing has claimed as his. Give him a stuffed Kong and he’ll take it there, lie down and spend half an hour methodically teasing out the treats stuffed inside.

The rug has clearly been destined for the tip for some time, and because Bingley lives with us we haven’t much cared about the gradual appearance of the K-Spot. The gradual appearance of the smell was, however, a different matter and the rug has now been shunted into the back yard!

There’s no doubt that as far as Bingley was concerned the smell was part of the appeal. But although he shares our world, when it comes to mulchy cod, grey gloop and a smelly K-Spot, there’s limit to how much we can share in his strange and wonderful Bingdom.

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