Sunday, 12 July 2009

Back with a Bing

Previously on Bingley’s Blog
‘Get in the car, Bingley’ No
‘Come on, Bing, be a dear and jump up’ Don’t wanna
‘Look Bingley, you’re being daft, now get in’ Shan’t

That, I realise, is how we left things a month ago – a month which has, for Bingley, included thorns in paws, a nasty sting to the neck, a horrible flair-up of his allergies, and a couple of visits to the vet.

The summer should be a time of fun, with long sultry days to play around in and cool evenings to go on long walks. But sharing a house with a dog who’s allergic to grass pollen and who is determined to plunge his entire body into areas best left un-plunged, has its penalties.

Living with Bingley continues to be a source of joy and amazement, but living with the frustration of those allergies is exhausting for all of us. Needless to say, the monthly inoculations haven’t made any difference yet (though I have become much better at administering those jabs) but the saga of Bingley and the car is quite a different story.

A month ago we couldn’t get him to climb into the car, now we can’t keep him out!

How did we manage it? Well, it involved lots of patience and lots of cheese! Bingley, it turns out, will do anything for a cracking bit of Wensleydale! In fact he’s had so much cheese recently that I’m getting worried about his cholesterol levels; and it’s lucky that he’s such a skinny bean because otherwise by this stage I think he’d be too heavy to jump up at all.

That initial jump up took ages to achieve, but after he’d done it once (and that was so thrilling!) there was no stopping him. For the first few days he wouldn’t hang around in his bit of the car: instead he'd jump into the back, find the cheese and leap back out again. But as his confidence grew he began to spend more time actually in the car and was happy to play with me in the back. I was even able to start including the boot of the car as one of our hiding places during our regular games of hide and seek – and he’d happily jump in when no-one was there.

The next stage was to get him to do sit-stays in the back of the car. Not surprisingly the first few attempts at that ended in failure and he couldn’t resist the temptation of jumping out to see where I was going. But that one didn’t take long to sort and after a handful of sessions I was able to walk all the way through the house to hide the cheese, without finding him padding along behind me (thank goodness for clicker training!).

As I mentioned, at this point in time we’re having difficulty keeping him out of the car, and he's tried to join me in the driving seat on more than one occasion! We’ve even been able to go as far as shutting him in the back – though as yet he’ll only let me close the door if Jane’s sitting alongside him!

But, frustratingly, that’s as far as we’ve come so far. If it hadn’t been for illness and allergies I really do think that by now we’d be out and about. Nevertheless, patience has been a key factor since the beginning of this episode and I’m certain that it won’t be much longer before we’re all driving out together in the Cheesemobile.

So, dare I say it again? Here we are almost at the beginning of a new series of adventures! But knowing Bingley all I can say for sure is – watch this space!


Anonymous said...

Aww, the adventures sound just around the corner, well done on your patience and persistance! We found the beach one of the best places for our pooch when her allergies were in full flow, although sand in the fur also made her itch a little. I am sure when you can all get out and about, you will find the perfect place for you all.


Rob said...

Thanks Tracey,

I have to admit that there were times when I thought that getting Bingley to voluntarily jump into the car was never going to happen! For the first few *weeks* he’d only put his front paws on the rim of the boot; he’d then try his utmost to stretch far enough to reach all the tempting goodies without actually climbing in. Why not just jump up, I wanted to ask him…again and again!

But then once he had finally jumped in, the rest was easy; and by this stage it’s as though we’ve never had a problem. Of course we don’t want to spoil things by rushing the next few steps (actually moving the car!) and find ourselves back at square one. But it’s nice to think that we might be nearly ‘there’.

Chatting to one of his vets a couple of weeks ago, she too suggested taking him for a swim in the sea. For a moment I considered telling her the car story, but then I realised that she’d just think I was another daft dog dad. Still, Jane and I are looking forward to getting back to the beach with Bing; and though he doesn’t know it yet, I’m sure he’s going to love it too.

Anonymous said...

My heavens! Harvey is very jealous indeed! Although with his expanding waistline I'm not sure Harvey will be able to enjoy Bingley's tastey treat tip!

Both Stanley and Harvey love car journeys as it usually means a new, exciting beach to sniff. Stanley, in particular, is a dog who was born to be driven. So much so, when Stanley gets taken for a walk, he pauses at the car. I'm not sure if this says more about Stan, or Ali's parenting? I've even been with Stan where he has stopped at cars which AREN'T ours! The boyo has expensive tastes! A BMW was his last favourite!

We all hope Bing is feeling better soon, and that Jane can go straight to the front seat in future.

Lots of woofs, wags and a little snore, Rosie, Claire and the gang.

Rob said...

Hello Bangor Buddies!

Harvey shouldn’t be jealous, I simply put Bingley’s slim waistline down to his high rev count! Despite allergies and mishaps his energy levels are constantly above 200rpm; were it not for that, I think by now Bing’s shape would resemble a big Kong. Harvey, on the other hand, has paid his dues and should now be content to sit back in a portly manner, just watching the youngster run round like a giddy tornado.

Like Stanley, Bing is also paying more attention to cars now and whenever he hears an engine start, his ears prick up. To be honest though, I’m not sure if that’s because he’s expecting a trip or a treat! It’s nice to know that Stanley has good taste: German cars, Stan, German cars all the way! Though I should add that both Bing & I cast envious glances at the slate grey Aston Martin that we keep seeing on our afternoon walks – I’m sure that he’d enjoy having his ears flapped around in one of those.

It may be a while before Jane can resume front seat driving, but we have some exciting news about Bing and the back seat! However, that news will have to wait a couple of days: first we need time to make sure that it wasn’t a fluke!