Sunday, 17 May 2009

Resistance is futile

It occurs to me that after my last post some of you may have felt compelled to reassess your opinion of Bingley. In fact I’ve heard on the very reliable Bingley grapevine that some of you think he must be a very spoilt little pooch!

Well, the easy answer is: yes he is. Definitely! He is without doubt one pampered pooch, used to being the centre of attention and accustomed to getting his own way.

But the less easy answer isn’t quite as straight forward.

Anyone who’s seen him sit and wait for permission to eat will know that he’s actually very well behaved. On walks he’ll now sit and wait at the kerb without any prompting; his recall is reliable (unless he’s spotted a football) and he always leaves something alone if he’s told to (unless the manure is particularly fresh).

So, spoilt little pooch he may be; but utterly wayward he isn’t! And the recent issue with the car doesn’t have anything to do with him simply being used to getting his own way.

Over the past couple of weeks as we’ve tried to overcome this problem it’s become clear that he’s very uncomfortable with the whole scenario involving getting into the car. This might be a result of his past experience with cars: all previous journeys have involved a visit to the vet, and we’ve remembered that on our last visit to the dermatologist we had a real struggle getting him into the taxi. So to some extent there’s nothing new in his more recent refusal to climb into our car. We’ve also wondered if he doesn’t suffer from some degree of motion sickness, though I don’t yet know how we’d work that one out for sure.

I admit that recently there have been times when I’ve felt like just picking him up and popping him into the car: there you go Bingley, it really is okay! But anyone who’s tried to lift 38 kilos of writhing dog will tell you how unpleasant, and potentially harmful, it can be for all concerned. And anyway, what would that achieve? It’s not exactly positive reinforcement and unlike a child we can’t tell him that it’s for his own good.

So instead we’re left with the need for patience and understanding, along with a willingness to wait as long as it takes in order to flip that binary switch back the other way. We have to make Bingley want to get into the car.

At the moment he just won’t do that, but I don’t think that it’s because he’s a spoilt little pooch. Though I must admit that as he sits back and I look deep into those hazel eyes I often hear the echo of a voice in my head: ‘We are Bing, resistance is futile.’


Anonymous said...

Oooh, defensive, i like it! Nobody can deny Bingley is a beautiful, well behaved pooch of infinite character, but it is very plain to see who wears the furry trousers in your household. We also go to ridiculous lengths to spoil our rats, but we haven't gone as far as buying them a car yet! Good luck with your persuasion techniques, I hope you get to restart your adventures soon.
Tracey, Jim & Ben (and Billie, Shredder, Diesel, Dexter, Nigel, Alfred and Chester)

Rob said...

Defensive? Well, knowing that I was going to be out numbered I thought I'd better get in first!

I have to admit though, that I think you might have a good point about the furry trousers. This morning, whilst sipping our morning coffee, Jane & I found ourselves both being squeezed into the corner of the kitchen sofa so that his Bingness would have enough room to comfortably curl up and sleep. As I sat there uncomfortably wedged into the corner and trying to reach my mug without being able to move my elbows, I did begin to wonder if indeed furry pants had completely taken over our lives!

But as far as buying him a car goes, I wouldn’t expect you guys with adorable pocket sized pets to understand!!