Monday, 29 October 2012

Big, brave, bone eating bears!

Now some of you might not believe this but not only do we not have double glazing, we don't have central heating in our house either! For the first time since May we actually put the gas fire on in the living room the other day and we realised it had not been on since we had had either Hugo or Pip so were interested to see what the reaction would be - and also whether we need to invest in a fire guard again! Hugo was so much like our old Sid it was unbelievable - he instantly removed himself as far from the fire as he could and lay down with a big sigh and started huffing and puffing. Miss Pip, on the other hand, lay out full length in front of it and soaked it up - not for the first time I suspect she is not all Akita!!

As mentioned before, we have put a barrier up in the garden to try and salvage some of the lawn that has now become a mud bath. Unfortunately, Pip can squeeze through, or can jump over, a couple of the obstacles and takes delight in running up and down on the inside of the barrier while Hugo runs up and down the other side - he is far too big to get through the gaps and has never shown any inclination to jump anything. To add insult to injury she takes great delight in going and drinking from the pond which is Hugo's preferred source of water.

On Friday, Daniel went and bought a couple of 'Jurassic' bones from the pet shop and they have kept them amused for the last three days - there has been the odd squabble and it's not very good when you tread on a bit of shattered bone when you get up in the night but they have thoroughly enjoyed them. Until, that is, Miss Pip carried several pieces over the barrier so Hugo couldn't get them - he was not amused and got his own back by burying a large chunk in his blanket! The living room carpet is now reminiscent of a scene from Time Team when they are digging in a church yard.

My parents came to visit on Friday and were introduced to Pip for the first time - Dad came prepared with some treats in his pocket but made the mistake of 'barking' back at her when she met him (she is always very vocal when she is excited). Every time he spoke or looked at her she woofed at him so hope she won't do this every time they meet.

Where's it all gone?
Not much of a view today!
Who goes there - friend or foe?!

Went up on Selsley Common the other day when it was shrouded in fog - really quite eerie up there, especially when a beagle came charging up over the hill barking at us. Hugo and Pip obviously could sense the change and were charging around, jumping over each other and generally being very skittish - they loved it when they startled a flock of birds and tried to dash after them, as far as their leads allowed.

It's that time of year again and the fireworks have started - there is always a large display on the first Monday of half term week about a mile from where we live and the bangs and crackles can be heard quite clearly so we were prepared for two frightened dogs. Sid was always terrified of them and would sit as close to you as he could, panting and dribbling until it was over - it was almost a blessing when he got hard of hearing in later life and they stopped worrying him. Hugo and Pip are made of sterner stuff - firstly, they were having their last trip in to the garden before going to bed the other night when a firework went off overhead. As they were busy chasing each other and creating their own thunder by running across the decking I just assumed they hadn't noticed as it wasn't the loudest firework. When the local display started they were both fast asleep in the living room and apart from opening one eye and stretching slightly at one particularly loud 'boom' they weren't bothered at all. Long may it last.

We got soaked tonight going for our walk up on the common - Hugo even let Toby dry him with a towel which is major progress. The wet and cold must have worn them out as they are both fast asleep and showing no interest in going out for a quick walk round the block before bed.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Picture that!

We have had some beautiful walks in the last few days so here are a selection of pictures to celebrate the glorious Gloucestershire countryside.

Hugo taking a breather

Pip posing

Pulling Toby down the hill!

Dogs approaching!

Cows - I see cows!

Ready or not here I come!

Umm, tasty!

The hills are alive with the sound of.........

Hugo had just conquered 'the monster' - he wee'd up the post!

More dogs approaching!

Not impressed!

We are not amused!

Over the last few weeks a combination of perpetual rain, clay soil and two wild Akitas racing round and round has resulting in the lawn becoming an absolute mud bath - a lot of this mud making it's way indoors on the feet of the said two wild Akitas.

Water, water, I need water!
Daniel has now made a temporary barrier for the worst part of the garden but, unfortunately for Hugo and Pip, this includes the pond so their preferred drinking source is no longer available.

Miss Pip was the quickest to spot there was a route up across the decking but was foiled in her attempt to get to the pond by another barrier. Hugo just looks longingly across at it. 

We are not amused!!

Thursday, 18 October 2012

If you go down in the woods today...

You might not believe this but I have lived in Stroud for over 30 years and have never been to Randwick Woods before today!

Toby and I decided to go up today so loaded the car with two excited dogs and wound our way along twisty, narrow lanes. The woods are absolutely beautiful and made me feel quite homesick for the beech wood next to Mum and Dads house.

Hugo and Pip had a wonderful time - we have never taken them in to woods before - they were chasing up and down the banks and round the trees and you could almost see them laughing - honestly they had big grins on their faces. Only downside was they were on very long extender leads which followed them up the banks and round the trees with Toby and I attached to the other ends. You can imagine the tangled mess we got into - it was great fun though and we will definitely be going back.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

There's a huge monster on Selsley Common!

Only one cook book destroyed today, and fortunately one I don't use. Going to load all the books up into boxes tonight so should solve that problem.

The big scary monster!
Toby and I have just taken Hugo and Pip up on Selsley Common - beautiful up there today, sun shining, although a bit cold where the wind blows up from the River Severn. We had already encountered a couple of dogs without too much fuss when Hugo suddenly stops dead and actually growls and woofs very deeply (he is not particularly vocal at the best of times) so prepared for something major to happen. Was another dog approaching? No, not a soul in sight. Was there a cow? No, they were on the other side of the hill. Was there a hang glider taking off? No, absolutely nothing. Then realised what it was - the Cotswold Way marker post!!! Stupid dog - I had to go and pat it and make fuss of it so he could see it was a friend! Just glad there was no one around to see it.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Fish, chips and destruction!

Sweetness & Light!

One disgusting thing that happened on Tuesday - we have a pond in our garden which is well established with various fish  - some quite big. I noticed the other day that one was floating on the surface but it was the far side of the pond where I could not reach, it was chucking it down with rain and then I forgot about it. Toby was in the living room and he suddenly noticed an awful smell. Yes, you've guessed, Hugo was sitting there eating a big, partially rotted fish - what a delicious tasty treat that was!!!

Pip's a bit of a madam and will destroy anything and everything she can get hold off - I changed our bed (again it was last Tuesday) and she managed to eat a hole in the duvet before I could get the clean cover on. Then when Toby came to pick me up from work they ripped to shreds a cardboard box complete with all its packing chips so you can imagine the mess that made. Amongst the mess was my pastry brush (one of those silicone ones which was totally denuded with bits of red strips all over the kitchen floor! The only good thing is that neither of them seems inclined to swallow any of the bits.

The lawn is no more!
Our once lush and green lawn is now like a mud bath where Hugo and Pip are constantly chasing each other and we are seriously thinking of sectioning off parts of the garden in rotation so it can recover. The water features, now empty for the winter, have been knocked flying and the remaining few plants in pots have been pulled out!

At 2.45am Saturday morning I was awoken by Pip howling very loadly for quite a long time – a proper wail. I shot out of bed, as did Hugo to see whatever the matter was. Miss Pip was still asleep and was surprised with all the fuss so she must have been sleep-howling! Good old Hugo lay down next to her as if to protect her. Quite funny really because when I put my head out the window on the way back to bed I could hear dogs all over the estate barking – she had set the whole lot off!

Yesterday we got up early, did the housework (well, dusted & hovered downstairs) and then went to town for a couple of hours – both boys were also out. When we were nearly home I had a phone call from Toby to warn us of what was about to greet us but it was far worse than we could have imagined. The whole of the kitchen floor was strewn with chewed up cookery books and magazines! We had thought the reason they had attached the books before was because they were on a corner unit and they had been knocked off as the dogs brushed by but, no, the books they had selected were from the middle of the top shelf and the remaining ones around it were untouched.  Unfortunately, this time they have destroyed two of my favourites so I was not amused and  I’m afraid I smacked them both as well as shouting loudly (actually it hurt my hand more than them but they ran off into the garden and didn’t come in for a while). Hugo then spent the next hour or so trying to creep round us telling us how sorry he was and generally trying to let us know ‘it wasn’t him’. Miss Pip on the other hand sat underneath a scaffolding ladder on the decking and stayed well away – pretty sure she was the main culprit and she was very subdued for the rest of the day. Only time will tell if she has learned a lesson.

Woke us this morning to find there had been quite a harsh frost – Hugo spent some time licking the ice crystals off the decking! Goodness knows what he would do with snow.




Saturday, 6 October 2012

The Birds and the Bees (well flies actually!)

Don't know whether it was because there was a bit of a mist before the sun burned it off but both Hugo and Pip, but mostly Pip, went completely loopy this morning. Charging round the garden, on and off the decking, in through the house, back out again. Hugo quickly got tired and just stood in the middle of the garden with Pip whirling round him. He wasn't THAT innocent though because every time she started to calm down he would go down on his front legs and jump at her to wind her up again!! All before 9 o'clock too.

Hugo thinking of the tasty treat he had missed earlier!
A bit later Toby suddenly called me downstairs - there was a bird in the kitchen and the dogs were going mad again! I opened the kitchen window, managed to get the dogs behind the child (or rather, dog) gate and Toby caught the poor little robin and got it out the window, unharmed. Hugo and Pip were non too pleased - they'd missed out on a tasty treat! Martin did comment later that he had wiped dog paw prints off the work surfaces where they had been jumping up.

It wasn't us!
This afternoon Martin & I were out the front doing bits on the cars (OK, Martin was doing, I was watching) and Hugo and Pip were howling inside the house - they knew we were out there and wanted to come out too. So, I opened my car door and let them out - they jumped straight in the back and were safely shut in, window open. Bad move. They weren't the only ones in the car - a big black buzzy fly was in there too. I don't know if it's just my two or if it is an Akita thing (Sid used to be exactly the same) but they absolutely hate flies - actually I think scared may be more accurate - they have to know where the horrible little creature is and the only way to be absolutely sure of that is to eat it. The back seat of a Fiat Punto and two Akitas does not leave much room so there was a lot of slipping and shaking and jumping going on in there and I began to fear for the wiring going to the rear windscreen heater. In the end I opened up the boot and let the fly out. Right, we can have a bit of peace now. WRONG! Pip decided to put her feet up on the back passenger shelf which immediately gave way beneath her and she was out the car and running round it in a flash! We got her back in quite easily but when the time came to pack up and we opened the door to get her out she was off again - little monkey. Hugo, who is normally as good as gold and goes back into the house without any fuss didn't like the shouting and dashing around and set off round the opposite side of the car to investigate and see where Miss Pip had got to. Two or three mad minutes which must have looked like something out of a cartoon and I went in and got 'dog bait', i.e. a couple of prawn crackers left from last nights Chinese take-away. Worked like a dream - being food obsessed has its compensations sometimes!

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Cooking lessons!

Think Hugo and Pip wanted a go at some Mediterranean cooking today - it's a step up from last time when it was Microwave cooking!!
Snooze, Snooze
Snooze, Snooze
Did someone mention walk - we're gone!!