Thursday, 23 August 2012

Play Date

Hugo went on a play-date with a chocolate Labrador called Bengie today. They spent an hour and a half chasing each other round and round the garden. My friend and I just sat and watched them - it was great to watch as this was the first time I had seen Hugo off the lead with another dog. Think they drank about 3 bowls of water between them and both were soaking wet by the time we left.

Makes me more certain that a little sister would be a good idea. He was absolutely shattered when we got home and slept for hours, his legs moving as if he was still running. 
This little clip was taken when they had calmed down so were actually much slower than when they first met. 

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Paws in the Park

Hugo laying claim to Kiri, with Obi behind, Inca in front and Pip.

On Sunday we had a fantastic time at Paws in the Park in Birmingham and met up with lots of people from the Akita Rescue & Welfare Trust. The weather was pretty good apart from an odd shower so a good time was had by all. There were all sorts of doggy themed stands with lots of other rescue people there too.

Hugo met up with Obi, Kiri, Anouk, Tia, Inca and Pip and they all behaved themselves very well. It was very funny when Hugo wouldn't let Obi go near Kiri (who live together) as he wanted Kiri for himself. Think he might be a bit of a ladies man (don't think he knows what his operation was for the other week!).

A perfect match don't you think?
Even funnier was when Hugo was suddenly spotted relieving himself - against Martin's leg! Fortunately he only got the shoe (better luck next time Hugo!). It was the middle of the park with no trees or posts close by so what else could the poor boy do!

Could this be Hugo's new sister?

We also got to see Pip and we were thrilled to find that Hugo took to her very well - could this be his new little sister?!! Only time will tell.

When we travel in the car Hugo normally likes to stand up and look through the windows to see where he is going. Not today! He lay down on the back seat and slept all the way home. He slept all evening and all night and pretty much all of Monday too! Think a little playmate would be quite a good idea - would the destruction be better or worse?

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

'Reading' a Good Book

We left Hugo for much longer than normal today as Toby and I went up to visit my parents in the Midlands and left the house at 7am. Martin didn't get in until 6pm so it was hardly surprising that Hugo had got a bit bored while we were all out.

He did his usual of pulling cushions off the settee, finding Martin's slippers and emptying his toy box all round the house but Martin was not pleased to find that a brand new book he had not yet read had been destroyed - the cover was off and all the pages chewed. He had also ripped the local paper to shreds so you can imagine the mess! Hugo has also chewed the corner of a folder which does not even belong to us. 

Perhaps he was trying to relieve the boredom by having a good read! The good news was that the neighbour said she didn't hear a peep out of him all day - too engrossed in the book I suspect!

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

First Day at School

As I can't get Hugo into the dog training classes that I want to go to until late September I took him along to the local class this evening. I spoke to the leader on the phone before we went and he said to use an ordinary collar and lead (no harness) and to take cut up bits of sausage as treats. This is the exact opposite method of training I want to use as I don't think dogs should be bribed with treats - a 'good boy' in a happy voice should be all the reward they need. Just my opinion but I'm open to other ideas.

Anyway, we went along and Hugo was really exited to see all the other dogs - mostly small puppies or Jack Russell size dogs - and winged and pulled to go see them all. 'The Man' (for that is what he shall be referred to from now on) straight away grabbed hold of him and made him sit for a treat - the fact he can already sit quite nicely, thank you very much, and lie down and give a paw all without bribery wasn't even asked about. Needless to say Hugo sat - he is so food obsessed I knew he would. He also sat every time The Man walked by or looked at him simply because he thought he would get a treat.

Had to stand at the side of the room for ages with each dog taking it in turn to walk up the room, getting the dog to sit at various points - when it was Hugo's turn he wasn't too bad but The Man said not to put my hand through the loop of the lead as a dog could take you across the road and dislocate your shoulder if you did. Believe me I have always had far more control this way in the past and never ended up with blisters like I have tonight because of having to hold the lead through my hands. Remember I have had twelve years experience with an eleven stone Akita  - if they want to 'go' you have to have the lead secured to something and I would rather have a dislocated shoulder than a run-over dog!

As you might be able to tell I am not keen on The Man. He first said that Hugo had a touch of conjunctivitis because his eyes were red - this is actually caused by him pulling so hard on his collar and lead and why we use a harness which doesn't cut the air supply off to his lungs. Then he said Hugo's ears weren't right for an Akita as they were too close together.  I could feel my hackles rising - just like when someone criticises your child. Anyone who knows Akitas will know how pricked their ears get when exited and then go all 'Gizmo' when they are tired or in trouble. What finally turned me against him, and I must warn my fellow Akita-lovers they too might be upset by this, was when he said no dogs should be allowed upstairs as that is man's domain and the dog should stay downstairs.

The lesson continued with various weaving in and out and walking head-on to other dogs and their owners - as long as Hugo has his nose glued to a piece of sausage he was fine. Then came a sit and stay exercise where The Man held onto your dog and you walked away and then called them to you. He made Hugo do it attached to a long lead and wouldn't even give him a chance to do it on his own - he actually did it very well so the lead wasn't needed - he was actually more interested in a bowl of water behind The Man and had to have a drink before he continued - hah, you try and control an Akita when he has other things on his mind!

All in all, it was probably quite a good exercise in socialising Hugo with other dogs so I will continue for a couple of weeks and see how he does. The problem came as we were leaving and the next group of dog were coming in. Everything learnt over the last hour was immediately forgotten and he dragged me hither and thither round the car park trying to get to go and say hello to every dog in sight.

One good thing though, Hugo is completely exhausted - he is lying flat out on the carpet snoring away -with about a pound of sausages inside him he should be rather content!

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Bad Drinking Habits

It wasn't me - honest!
Pictures a bit blurry - he was going wild at the time!

Last night we had all gone to bed and were just settling down for the night when there was suddenly a very loud splashing sound. Toby shot out of his bedroom to see what the noise was - I couldn't stop laughing as I knew exactly what it was. Yes, Hugo was drinking out of the toilet!! 

When I got up at about 5.30am this morning (it's an age thing!) Hugo was fast asleep on the landing with a brand new toilet roll, slightly soggy and squashed, alongside him - think he wanted it for a pillow!

Needless to say the toilet lid stays down from now on and the new toilet rolls are out of reach!

Hope to take Hugo to dog training classes this week so will see if we can start to gain some control!

Wednesday, 1 August 2012


Yesterday Hugo was so excited to see me when I got home from work he bought me the brand new sat-nav with only a few holes in the leather pouch - fortunately the sat-nav itself was fine! I took it off him and he immediately leapt on the kitchen towel and bought that to me instead - just remember he is terrified of towels! He had also had a go at digging up Daniel's vegetable bed again.

Today I got home to find Hugo between the front door and the child gate standing on a chewed up door mat and holding one of Remie's shoes in his mouth - he had managed to pull the gate towards him and get through it. In the living room was one of my slippers, amongst the debris of his toy box and the flowerpots from the garden. I went upstairs to see what else he had done, found Martin's pillow on the floor with his pyjamas alongside and one of his shoes across the room. A magazine had been ripped to shreds, my other slipper had had a bobble chewed off and one of my pens was in bits. I then found an empty toilet roll holder on the landing so checked the bathroom to see if he had emptied the bin - there were reams of toilet paper hanging from the roll in use with chew marks in them. Trouble is, he is so excited to see me it is very hard to get angry with him.

I then took him in the car to go and pick up Toby from college and walked him round the park before Toby came out - he was a nightmare pulling on the lead wanting to go and play with all the other dogs in the park. Won't be going there again in a hurry. I've been trying to get him into dog training classes but everyone seems full until mid-late September so I will have to have a go at some lessons in the garden I think.