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.