Brian went to the seaside for the first time. I’m so proud of my little boy. The car journey, which I had dreaded the most, went rather smoothly, no travel sickness, no whining, he slept almost all the way but had a few sneak peeks out of the window. He’s getting more confident every day!
We make sure that travelling in the car means something pleasant is about to happen. I want Brian to have new experiences to reduce stress when he encounters something for the first time. The more new things he sees, can bark, sniff and wee at, the less likely he is to run away when he sees something he’s never seen before. Even now he understands that unknown might as well be wonderful.
He’s learning a lot from Lily, but she takes comfort in his presence as well. They constantly check what the other one is doing, even if Lily is more likely to go on doing her own stuff while Brian unashamedly just copies her every move.
Brian was overwhelmed by the alien and fascinating smells, the taste of seaweed, little crabs and water (probably all salty but he had to lick them to know). He met lots of dogs who were not afraid of water-which means he should at least try and pretend he isn’t either.
We met a lot of people, too. He’s learning to accept people’s presence, but this will be a long process. Brian might never be perfectly comfortable with strangers, but I’m sure with time he’ll understand they are harmless.
Unfortunately, the holiday was marred by a horrible accident: I saw a dog being run over by a car. It wasn’t anyone’s fault, the car was driving slowly, the man who was looking after the dog had his back to the dog for a moment and the poor little thing just walked directly under the wheel.
I can’t get it out of my head. Paranoid as I am, I know accidents happen. But when I saw the dog dying I knew I will never get rid of this image. And I will keep an eye on my dogs when we’re out because their lives are more precious to me than my own.