Tuesday, 21 August 2007
Memory Lane (5)
Our next move was a compromise between myself and my girlfriend at the time, to a semi-rural part of Cheshire. I think I came out of the move better to be honest, as did Prince, who found a canal, fields and lovely community on his doorstep.
The move was less positive for my relationship with Princes mother, and it was at this time that the cracks started to show. We did our best to hide it from him, but I'm sure he knew something was amiss.
In typical Prince style, he carried on as normal - chewing rawhide voratiously, honing his rabbit chasing skills, and enjoying long walks through fields and woodlands. He was also continuing his journey to become an amazingly well-rounded dog and the best friend I could wish for. He still had some slightly odd moments, like taking a dislike to a particular room for no apparent reason (ghosts?), but he was such a good dog that such things failed to be an issue.
When Princes mother and I split up, it was a hard time for all involved. As I've mentioned previously, she did the right thing in choosing to stay away after a while, as seeing her occasionally was just confusing Prince. He missed her terribly. Despite all her faults, she was brilliant with him and provided a certain type of feminine care that I couldn't. For about a year, Prince suffered eye problems that I'm sure were associated with the loss of his 'mother'. On the day she left, I took him away to a hotel in Yorkshire so that he wouldn't be unsettled by the whole process. Of course, he spent the evening entertaining the residents in the bar...
Princes dislike of vets also reached new levels at this time, and resulted in me taking him daily for a while, purely to feed him sausages in the waiting room to try and make it a more positive experience. My motivation to do this was also increased by the presence of a very attractive veterinary nurse at the practise. Unfortunately, in the longer term Prince never overcame his dislike of vets, and I never managed to woo the nurse. B*gger.
After the departure of my girlfriend, Prince migrated from his own room to my bed to sleep. As far as I was concerned, he was a far better sleeping partner and it signalled the start of many years of cuddling, squirming and snuffling under duvets with him. Not correct in training terms I know, but I wouldn't have changed it for the world.
As you can see from the picture above, his ever-growing toybox received a lot of attention when the weather reduced his enthusiasm for a walk...!