Friday, 21 September 2012

Hugo has a Sister

Well, it's now official - Hugo has a new sister! We signed the forms and paid for Pip today so she is here to stay. A few pictures to celebrate the occasion - it's marvellous what a handful of dog treats can do when held by the photographer!!

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Shows, cars and fish food!

Making friends!

Toby and I took Hugo and Pip to the Family Fun Day & Dog show at Worcester Woods Country Park on Saturday and they were beautifully behaved and loved all the dogs and people they met. They were both really gently with children and were a great advert for the Akita Rescue and Welfare Trust who we had gone to support. They slept all the way back in the car and most of Sunday and Monday too - more shows please!!

Asleep in the car - worn out!
We have been taking them for walks up on Selsley Common and they are getting used to travelling in the back of my Fiat Punto to get there - not a lot of room for two bears and it makes reversing a bit tricky when you have a furry face in the way but it's perfect for these jaunts (if you don't mind a bit of slobber down your neck that is)! Yesterday after our walk we stopped off at Sainsbury's to get a couple of things so Toby stayed in the car with them. Everytime anyone walked by Pip barked at them so think the car is now her possession and she is 'on guard'! 

Pleased to meet you!
We are starting to leave Hugo and Pip at home on there own a bit more now and our next door neighbour says she hasn't heard them at all so it looks like having two little monsters is working well and Hugo is much happier. They do make a lot of mess though with the usual toy debris scattered everywhere and Miss Pip likes a good dig in the garden - fortunately it's in a place that doesn't matter so letting her get on with it.

Toby had the car today so he bought them to pick me up from work - the last time they came was when we had only had Pip a couple of days and she didn't particularly show much interest in me when she saw me. Today she was all over me, jumping up and licking me - it was lovely that she was so pleased to see me. Hugo, of course, is always happy for a cuddle when you see him.

We took them up to Uley Bury where the views were fantastic today and Hugo was very interested in the para-gliders taking off from the side of the hill - perhaps he thought they were big birds. Fortunately, it took his attention away from the fact there were loads of sheep in the same field. They met lots of new doggy friends all of which were snack sized treats but they were more than happy to meet and greet them all - most rolled over on their backs in submission but a black pug was a bit braver and barked at them before running off.

When we got home my neighbours asked if Hugo and Pip had been playing with a bottle in the garden as they had spotted them playing with what looked like one. On investigation it turned out to be the container of fish food pellets - it had been more than half full but is now completely empty with only a few brightly coloured crumbs remaining on the lawn - mmmm, delicious, what a nice fishy treat!! We did think one of them had a bit of a wind problem in the car, now we know why!

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Rolling Over!

Hugo has never been much of a one for rolling over on his back and has never yet done so willingly so I was amazed to see him doing so when he was playing with Pip and I managed to catch them on film doing this - you have to watch a little way in before he rolls over and, sorry, the pictures are rather dark. He was actually letting her pin him down - if he wanted he could have easily shaken her off bearing in mind he is very much bigger than her and can get his mouth right round her neck. It may look fierce but Hugo was being quite gentle!

6.30am this morning saw the pair of them charging up the stairs, chasing each other along the landing, into the bedroom then back down the stairs and round again  - sounded like a herd of elephants!

Toby painted the front door today and now both Hugo and Pip have got nice blue streaks in their coats - how do they manage to do that when you never saw them going anywhere near the wet paint?!

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Just Good Friends!

We're not fighting really!
We're just good friends
Put Pip in her crate last night to go to bed and Hugo came upstairs as usual. Turned the lights out then the whining and barking started!

Martin went down and let Pip in to the garden in case she needed to go out and then struggled to get her back in the crate afterwards. He came back upstairs and we turned the lights out again. The whining and barking started again!

After about 10 minutes we gave in - Pip slept very happily, thank you very much, at the top of the stairs with Hugo on the landing. I know she didn't like being left downstairs on her own but her crate is lovely and comfortable with a big padded bed in there - Toby has been in it and says he could sleep in it! We suspect the day of the crate is coming to an end - sorry Kim it didn't take us long to undo your hard work!!

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Walk on Selsley Common

Pip looking towards home
Hugo & Pip enjoying the Common

Hugo spotted some cows!

We have just got back from taking Hugo and Pip on a nice walk round Selsley Common. I haven't been up there since we lost Sid so was a bit choked as we went round, especially when we got to the bench where we always sat that looks over to our house -  but it's such a lovely view up there you can't be sad for long and it looks as if Hugo and Pip will enjoy it just as much as Sid did. In all the times I used to take Sid up there I don't think I ever saw another Akita so it was lovely to see, coming over the hill some distance from us, a beautiful large white dog - so three bears were a-hunting on the Common today.

As I was taking photos I managed to drop Pip's lead and she was off in a flash with the extender lead bouncing along behind her - Martin had to rush after her and stand on the lead to stop her but she seemed to think it was all a game. Hugo loved all the new smells and the freedom of being on the extender lead - another dog came right up to us and he and Pip just stood there as good as gold until their owner collected him. Pip, I think, is going to be a hunter - most of the walk she spent with her nose to the ground tracking the scent of something (there are lots of rabbits up there) and when a bird took off in front of her she was very keen to get going after it!
What are those?!! 

I don't think Pip has ever met cows before and they came as something of a shock to her - she was very inclined to run off in the opposite direction but when Hugo, who is well used to them from his walks in the Meadows, started going towards them she barked her head off. It was as if she was telling him off for getting too close!

Making a hasty retreat back to the car
from the cows

They both behaved very well in the car on the way back home and Miss Pip lay down on the back seat, panting happily. They are now both flat out, having drunk a whole bowl of water between them. You would think they had walked a full scale marathon when, in actual fact, we probably only walked about half a mile but it's certainly worn them out!

Friday, 7 September 2012


Hugo and Pip are actually sharing a bone together and aren't squabbling over it. Do you think they are beginning to like each other?

They are also eating out of the same bowl so we feel we are making some progress with the food issues.

They have started to play 'tug' together with toys too and walk around on either end of one, walking side by side. The chasing, chewing ear, sessions seem to be getting less too, although they still like a good game of chase.

Thursday, 6 September 2012


My three babies together!
Last night Pip went into her crate as usual but when I went to shut the door I couldn't close the catches so just pushed it to as she was already lying down and ready for sleep. Hugo had already gone upstairs and when I got there he was lying on the bed with a chew in his mouth. Normally he will jump off after a few minutes but he seemed quite comfortable so we let him stay there and switched the light off. Then he started chewing - that horrible, graunchy, grinding, soggy noise of teeth scraping against leather that only another dog owner will understand. Fortunately, it didn't last too long but he then decided to try and bury it in the duvet! It was with much relief he jumped off the bed and lay in his usual position on the floor. Didn't realise until this morning that the chew was still on the bed - nasty, slimy thing!

Just before the alarm went off Hugo suddenly shot to the top of the stairs - yes, you have guessed it, Miss Pip had pushed open the door of her crate and was on her way up - the first time she has been upstairs! Unfortunately, the exitement was a bit too much for her and she had a little accident on the carpet!

Pip is really lovely first thing in the morning, really cuddly and wriggly and VERY vocal - reminds me of our old Collie-cross, Sam, who, thinking back also used to wee at the drop of a hat.

For a while Hugo has climbed up on the settee and will stay there for a few minutes before getting back off but Pip managed to get up tonight and cuddled up alongside me. Unfortunately, Hugo was not keen on this and tormented her until she got off - a bit of jealousy me thinks! He's back asleep again under my feet now and Pip has retired to her crate so pecking order resumed.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Getting to know each other.

Worn out chasing each other

Hugo & Pip have been getting to know each other over the last few days and have had some wild times chasing each other round the garden. Both end the day absolutely exhausted and we were beginning to worry they wouldn't calm down.

The last couple of day have been much better - still the same romping as usual but now they do their own thing as well - Hugo likes to come and lie down at my feet in the living room at night while Pip prefers to stay in the hall. She is a great guard dog and barks at the slightest movement even if it's us but she is getting to know who is coming in now so, hopefully, it will soon be just anyone new coming in. It's a bit of a pain having to creep around very quietly if you have to get up in the night otherwise the whole neighbourhood knows you've had a call of nature! Of course, as soon as Pip starts to bark Hugo is there like a flash and joins in with her - he never made a sound before!.
Team work!

It's funny when it gets to night time - Miss Pip takes herself off into her crate and is more than happy to stay the night there (night manoeuvres by us allowing) whilst Hugo comes upstairs and sleeps on the floor at the end of our bed still. We were quite surprised as we thought he would stay with her - perhaps he's not so much of a gentleman after all. She hasn't ventured up the stairs yet so it's still a safe zone for Hugo at the moment - and he does so love to look out the bedroom window at the world going by (cats, dogs and birds in particular!).

On Monday evening it suddenly went very quiet outside so I went out to investigate - it looked like a snow storm had taken place, there was white fluff everywhere. The pair of them had their noses buried deep in an old dog bed that Hugo sometimes used to lie on in the sun. They were ripping it to shreds and having a fine old time - only consultation was they were working very well together as a team!

Can't believe it's only four days since Pip arrived - it feels like she's been here for ages. Perhaps she's here to stay!

Sunday, 2 September 2012

For better or for worse!

For a little while now I have thought Hugo could do with a sister and have been reading about all the bitches up for adoption on the Akita Rescue and Welfare Trust web site. As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago we went up to Paws in the Park in Birmingham and were introduced to Pip. She and Hugo got on very well and it was suggested we have Pip on a trial basis for two weeks while her foster mum gets married and goes on honeymoon. So yesterday we went up to Stoke on Trent and collected Pip to find out if things might work out.

Pip was as good as gold in the car on the way back and actually lay down and went to sleep for the majority of the two hour journey. She did make us jump once when we were waiting to cross a roundabout and she suddenly barked – a man on a motorbike was right behind us and she didn’t like that one bit!

When we were nearly home I phoned Toby and he took Hugo out and onto one of the greens on our estate and I took Pip to meet him down there so they were on neutral territory. As her foster mum had warned us, Pip had a bit of a growl at Hugo when she saw him – she has been attacked by a bigger dog before so tends to get herself heard first now. They were fine together; in fact Hugo was more interested in the cat in a neighbouring garden.

Once in our house and garden there was a LOT of running around chasing each other with Pip doing most of the ear pulling and biting – Hugo quickly learnt to turn his bottom on her whenever she jumped up. They did have a couple of squabbles when Pip discovered Hugo’s chews and wouldn’t let him near them – she snapped at him showing her teeth which worried us a bit. I don’t think poor Hugo knew what had hit him, he is such a gentle giant with his food. Pip has come with a very large crate which is her safe place where she eats and sleeps so we now make sure that any food and chews for her are in there and Hugo has his when she is inside it. This seems to have solved the problem for the moment.
Toby and I took them for a walk off the estate, along the canal and through the park and they were great together. The chasing and tumbling around carried on all day and they were both worn out at bedtime. Every time either of them moved the other would be there, neither letting the other out of their sight. When we went to bed Pip went in her crate and Hugo came upstairs. After about half an hour she started whining and Hugo shot down the stairs to see what the matter was – think he’s getting a bit protective already. She soon settled down after popping into the garden but was woken again just after 1am when Toby came in – no-one will be able to sneak in late now Miss Pip is on duty as she barks her head off! What's more, she has taught Hugo to do the same and he rarely made a sound.

This morning things are a lot calmer, still with lots of chasing but all in good temper and they now lie down and sleep and do their own thing in the garden rather than being glued together. Martin has taken them round the block a couple of times on his own and he has found they are quite good and he can cope with the pair of them together – in fact Hugo isn’t pulling as much on the lead as he normally does (must be all the exercise he’s getting in the garden!).

If you make a fuss of one you have to make a fuss of the other too, at the same time but that’s no hardship. Pip walks around with a teddy bear in her mouth growling (she’s very vocal!) and Hugo looks at her as if to say ‘What are you going on about?’ She barks very loudly, and very deeply for such a small girl, whenever anyone comes in, goes out, brings a load of washing downstairs or she sees someone in the kitchen when she's in the garden - going to be a good guard dog I think, just needs to learn friends from foe!

If things stay as settled as today I can’t see why Pip can’t become part of the family. We are back at work tomorrow but Toby is at home for a week or two so they won’t have to be left on their own for a while.  We will have to wait and see how things develop over the next two weeks.