Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Christmas Day 2012!

Hugo and Pip's first Christmas with us - think they enjoyed their day! They both had a full turkey dinner with all the trimmings but, in the same style as Sid before them, they left the sprouts and carrots!

Here a just a few pictures of them and their presents!

Pip with her new Tigger

Uh-oh trouble brewing!

Me thinks this one won't last long!

Yep, I was right!

Worn out after a walk then Christmas lunch

Did we just hear the fridge door opening?!!

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Disappearing duvet & a flying dog!

Over the last two days SOMEBODY has been gradually been pulling the stuffing out of our duvet! Toby went upstairs this afternoon and found white fluff coming out of our bedroom door and down the stairs. Fortunately, we only bought a new one yesterday so it looks as if it will be going on the bed sooner than we thought!

Toby came and picked me up from work today so Hugo and Pip had only been left on their own for about half and hour when we got in but you would have thought they hadn't seen us for a year. As we opened the door they were barking and kita-talking and standing up at the child gate which leads in to the kitchen. Suddenly, Hugo, who normally struggles to heave himself up on the sofa, leapt over the gate in one swift move - think he rather surprised himself as well as us!

Hugo and Pip love this cold, frosty weather and they go absolutely mental when they are let out in the garden. Pip was standing at the edge of the pond, balancing on a stone, drinking the icy water when Hugo bounded up behind her, grabbed her leg and almost pushed her in! There was then a mad five minutes of charging round the garden leaping at each other, and us, until they were calm enough to take out for a walk. Goodness knows how they will be if it snows.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Winter Pack Walk

The dogs, from left to right - Cassie, the Orange Dog (a.k.a. Marvin), Pip, Hugo, Kiri, Obi, Tia, Suki, Max, Candy, Nico and MistyCat.
The day we had been looking forward to for ages finally arrived yesterday - the day of the Akita Winter Walk at Westport Lake near Stoke on Trent. We had to set off at 8.30am to make sure we got there for 11am but knowing Hugo and Pip get so excited when we go out in the car that we have to stop about 5 minutes into the journey, Toby took them up on the common first so they had already had a good walk when we set off.

We had a good run up there without too much winging or whining and arrived just after 10.30am as planned. Arriving at the same time as us were Teresa, Kirsty and Ross with Princess Tia and 'the orange dog' (a.k.a. Marvin), who is a staffie with aspirations of becoming a bear, shortly followed by Christine and Clive with Kiri and Obi. There was a little bit of growling and sorting out the pecking order but nothing to worry about - the dogs behaved beautifully too!
Pip cleaning her feet on Teresa's coat! 

Then Kim and Mike drove in with Candy and Nico - for those that don't know, these are the lovely people who fostered Pip before we adopted her and we had been wondering if she would still remember them. Boy, did she remember! She was all over Kim in total ecstasy, and Mike too - it was so lovely to see. Candy and Nico had a good sniff round her but Hugo wasn't so keen on this - Pip is HIS sister now!!

More Akita's arrived - Tally with her new mum, Sally, and Cassie with her dad, Robbie. It was bitterly cold so we decided to start off on the walk round a small lake to warm everyone up. We spaced ourselves out and apart from a few minor pawings and warnings they were all beautifully behaved. We were pleased when Marie caught us up with Misty Cat and we set off on the first lap round the big lake. Hugo had to keep drinking from the lake every few yards - all that water and all those ducks, Canadian geese and swans must have been like Paradise to him. Just surprised nobody ended up in the water as most of the dogs had a paddle at some stage. 

As we were completing the first lap of the lake we were joined by Annie and Neil with the beautiful Suki and 'Mad' Max who was in foster with Marie and Misty Cat. After a quick break for cakes (thanks Christine, they were lovely!) we did a second turn around the lake and all enjoyed our time together.
Marvin, they're wearing your colour!

As everyone set off for home, Toby and I took Hugo and Pip back to Kim and Mikes for a cup of tea - cheeky Miss Pip knew exactly where she was and made herself right at home, even demanding a treat by barking at the cupboard where she knew they were kept. Even Hugo was well settled and lay down without a fuss.

There were hold ups on the motorway on the way back so it took well over 2 hours to get home but Hugo and Pip did not mind - they were fast asleep in the back of the car and hardly stirred all the way. Once home they gobbled up as much of their tea as they could then flaked out again for the rest of the night. Think they enjoyed themselves!

Monday, 3 December 2012

Pip is not amused!

On Friday we noticed Pip had a bit of a sore patch just under her ear and by last night it had turned into quite a nasty abscess. It was first brought to our attention by Hugo when we spotted him licking her ear and we thought 'ah, how sweet, he loves her' - should know him better by now shouldn't we?! Anyway, the inevitable trip to the V.E.T. took place this evening and Toby and I took both Hugo and Pip along - more worming tablets are just about due and we wanted to get them both weighed as they have both grown.

Come and play Pip!
As we went into the surgery the first thing Hugo did was to jump up and put his feet on the reception desk - unfortunately  the resident cat was sitting on the other side and Hugo was very interested in all the spitting and hissing and wide eyes going on there! We were quite early so had to wait for a while and we were really pleased how they both behaved, especially as smaller dogs were barking at them. Pip was a bit jumpy though so she probably knew something nasty was going to happen. 

A lady with one of the small dogs came out of one of the surgery doors looking rather anxious and they took her dog downstairs "It's always a bad sign when they take them down there" she said. The dog was soon returned though - he'd had a dew claw removed and they promised her he'd only made a small yelp when it was removed (if you believe that you'll believe anything).

We have cut this collar down now - it was
a bit big!
Then it was our turn so we all crammed into the little surgery. The nice nurse had a look at Pip's ear and decided she had to shave some of the hair off so she could see it better - Pip had other ideas!! She wriggled and squirmed and, even after a muzzle had been put on her (she wasn't biting or snapping but the nurse thought it might be safer) we couldn't hold her still enough to get more than a snippet of hair from her. The nurse then called the vet in and he had a look at her and said what a lovely puppy she was - he also commented on Hugo's lovely temperament so we liked him! Then those dreaded words 'We'll just pop her downstairs and clean it up for her!"

We trooped back into the waiting room and the nurse took her through the door while we went to the counter to pay. There was a lot of scrabbling sounds coming from behind the door and we could see Pip, backed right up as far as her collar would allow, four feet firmly planted with the nurse trying to get her to move - she was NOT going down those stairs. Toby had to take her in the end and then we sat and waited for her return. Don't know how they did it (and don't particularly want to) but she came back with a shaved ear and had been given  antibiotics and steroid injections. She has to take antibiotics for a week and we have to go back next Monday for a check up. We mustn't let Hugo lick it because THAT is what caused the infection from probably just a small scratch - wouldn't be at all surprised if he'd made that small scratch (or bite) in the first place.

When we got home Pip kept trying to scratch her ear so we resorted to putting the collar on her - this is the one Hugo had after his op. but it was so big on her we have had to cut it down. Hugo kept lying on the floor in front of her and pawing up at her face in the collar to try and make her play - she was not a happy bunny. She is very sleepy now so think the injections are having an affect.

Forgot to say - Pip is 25.9kg (just over four stone) and Hugo is 41.1kg (six and a half stone) so both filling out nicely.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Having a lie in

On a week day our alarm goes off at 6.30am and Martin is out walking Hugo and Pip by 7am. On a weekend we try and have a bit of a lie in (I think 7.45am is the latest I have slept for years). Unfortunately, Hugo and Pip have no concept of what a lie in is and come and huff and puff in our faces and jump on and off the bed till one of us gives in and gets up to let them up the garden. This fobs them off for another half an hour allowing us to take a cup of tea back to bed and read. They show their disapproval by both jumping up on the bed and throwing themselves down between us  with much sighing and THAT look (you Akita owners out there will know what I mean by that). Needless to say there isn't much room for all of us so the lie ins are pretty short lived!

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Healthy eating!

Worn out!
It's been much colder this week and Hugo and Pip love it - the slightest bit of frost and they're out there, hoovering up the decking with their tongues and romping in the grass. Pip's not quite so hardy as Hugo though and likes to come in for a nice warm by the fire.

Toby and I took them for a lovely long walk this morning through Standish Woods -  the car park was quite full when we got there so we went a different path from normal and found some really quiet and secluded spots which was fantastic and we all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We did meet someone riding a horse that Hugo was quite keen to play with  - Pip was more interested in trying to eat what it had deposited - but apart from them there were only a couple of other dog walkers around. As usual Hugo and Pip had a wonderful time dragging us up and down banks and round trees - they are like small children with all the leaves down and the frost made them nice and crisp.
It's normally Pip on the sofa but tonight it was Hugo's turn.

The long walk did the trick and Hugo and Pip have been asleep for most of the day, apart from when I was trying to do some baking this afternoon that is. They will insist on lying where you have to keep stepping over them so you feel like you've taken part in an obstacle race by the time you've finished. I don't know how but they seemed to guess one of the things I was making was some dog biscuits for them - I have made them before but this time I put some liver pate into the mixture so they could probably smell it. By the time the biscuits came out the oven they were both drooling and I had to blow on a couple to get them cool enough for them to have straight away. I think I can safely say they were a huge success as they have eaten almost half of them already (there were about 50 to start with). I also made a fruit cake and discovered Hugo and Pip are quite partial to the dried mixed fruit  which rather surprised me - the only raisin Sid would eat was if it was covered in chocolate! Just hope it doesn't have a detrimental effect on their stomachs!