Sunday, 20 June 2010

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Eternal sunshine of Bingley’s mind

Happiness is Bingley’s default mindset. He’s never glum, even when he’s been told off for doing something he shouldn’t; and he’s never sad, even though he’s been suffering with allergies for the past three years. Bing is quite simply happy all the time.

As soon as I appear he runs and grabs a toy, then gleefully prances around in front of me shaking his head with an expression which says: ‘look what I’ve got, Rob; let’s play!’ Or maybe he thinks I’m bored and perhaps need some cheering up: ‘Rob, look, its okay – I’ll play with you!

Even when he’s lying fast asleep on the sofa as I walk in, he’ll usually open his eyes and check whether I’m going to need entertaining; though oftentimes he’ll stumble off the sofa anyway and sleepily wobble over to me with a toy just to be sure.

Constantly having a playful brown muzzle shoving a soft toy against my legs can sometimes be tiresome, to say the least; but it’s more often than not irresistible. There are times when he pads up to me with a ball and a toy in his mouth, then skilfully ejects the ball so that it lands by my feet whilst he steps back, shakes the other toy and invites me to kick the ball towards him so that he can knock it back with whatever he’s holding in his mouth. If I somehow manage to resist the temptation to engage in that ad-hoc game of Bingball, he’ll first try shaking his head a bit harder (go on, Rob, kick it), then start stepping backwards a pace or two (look Rob, you could give it a really good kick now), then back even further (Rob, you’d really enjoy this – honest!). If none of these strategies work he’ll eventually bound towards the ball with little bunny hops, before pouncing on it with a vengeance: it’s all your fault, ball!

His never ending happiness is wonderfully infectious and can make a dreary day fun. Wagging goodbye to Jane as she set off for work this morning, he couldn’t resist rummaging amongst the plants and picking up a little twig to shake at her. Look, I’ve got a stick! Actually he had a twig and a clump of dried grass hanging out of his mouth as he stood there looking at her with sleepy, but still playful, eyes; and Jane didn’t need any incentive to stay home and play with Bing! Sadly they were both disappointed with the final decision, but at least Jane went off with a smile.

Of course Bingley being Bing there’s a dichotomy here: just recently he’s been going through a very twitchy phase and sometimes on a walk even the smallest sound can startle him. But this puzzling kink in his optimistic armour notwithstanding, everyone, and everything, we meet is greeted with playful enthusiasm; in fact ‘pleased to meet you’ doesn’t do it justice!

But even though there are times when he can be a challenging little monkey; this happy, gleeful, upbeat and cheerful, little brown bundle of playful delight is a never ending source of optimism and can brighten up a dull day better than anything else I know.