Sunday, 30 June 2013

Just another week.

Hugo looking decidedly grubby
We had a nice big roast chicken for tea the other night with plenty left over to have cold in sandwiches and I left it to cool before putting it in the fridge. Miss Pip had other ideas - a sudden bump in the kitchen gave her away, fortunately before she had managed to get any bones in her mouth!

Pip all nice and shiny
Now Pip has finished blowing, Hugo has started with a vengeance and we have acres of white fur floating around the house and garden. Unlike Pip who loves being brushed and all the attention that goes with it, Hugo will not stand still for more than a minute and disappears at the sight of the brush - the only one he likes is the soft,   gently baby brush which is absolutely no use at all on his coat. He looks filthy too, especially as Pip's coat is now soft and shiny and sparkling white!

It was really hot the other afternoon and Toby and I took Hugo and Pip up on to Selsley Common where even the usual cooling breeze up there was warm and humid. On the way back we needed a couple of things from Sainsbury's so we parked in the shadiest spot and I stayed with the dogs while Toby went in. He was only gone about 5 minutes but despite having all the windows open and also the doors where there was no fear of them escaping Hugo just stood and dripped all down my neck and back - lovely. Goes to show how bad it would have been if they had been left with only a crack of window open.

Hugo dripping in the car
Got home from work on Wednesday to find the electrical extension lead on Hugo and Pip's bed in the kitchen - only the winder had been chewed off so not too bad and at least it wasn't connected to the supply! My work boots now seem to live out in the garden and we found a mutilated glove out there too!

If you go down to the woods today.................
Yesterday, for the first time in months, Toby and I took Hugo and Pip up to Standish Woods where it was lovely and cool in the shade of all the trees. Despite the fact there were quite a lot of cars in the car park we only had a glimpse of one other person while we were walking so had a brilliant hour exploring in the undergrowth (Pip) and weeing up trees (Hugo). They were really excited to be there and it had changed so much since the last time we were there in the winter it was like a totally different place. Two very happy fur babies were exhausted for the rest of the day.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Having a ripping time!

Sleeping bag down the hole!

Destruct-o-duo have been in action again and have succeeded in getting hold of an old sleeping bag (fortunately, already destined for the tip) and totally shredding it all over the garden, stolen a lunch box that was waiting to go in the dishwasher and eaten the remains of the contents along with part of the lid, taken work boots (mine) outside almost every day this week and removed the insoles which are getting smaller and smaller and dug HUGE holes in the lawn-that-was! We have also noticed teeth marks in the arms of the garden furniture - can't think who could have done that!

The funniest thing was when Toby and I got home from work the other day to find the remains of the sleeping bag down one of the holes - that's what called burying the evidence! My next door neighbour reports back to us every day what she has seen them doing and thinks it's hysterical - they don't make any noise but are constantly on the go. Not surprising that when we are home they are flat out, exhausted.

Exhausted from all that destruction!
Have never seen Hugo get in this position before!

Going to Pets at Home.
We needed to get some more dog food today so Martin and I took Hugo and Pip with us to Pets at Home. Pip has never been before and Hugo has only been once so it was a bit of an adventure for them. Pip kept up a constant, high pitched whining all the way round the shop and Hugo would get most upset if he lost sight of her and joined in the noise. He saw a Rotty down one of the isles and barked loudly at it we had to play hide and seek to make sure we didn't come face to face. Every time Hugo and Pip met up they greeted each other like they hadn't been together for months, jumping all over each other - very embarrassing ! They were, however, on their best behaviour and sat down when we got to the check out so the nice man would give them biscuits - they did jump up and look him in the eye but he gave them both a big hug and fuss. Everyone seemed to smile when they saw them and one woman in the queue even knew what they were which is very unusual. I did manage to get them both weighed and was really pleased that Pip has gained nearly 2kg since her operation and is now just over 28kg - I was a bit worried that she still seemed a bit skinny so it was a relief to find she had gained. Hugo sat himself down on the scales and he is just over 40kg so very much the same as he was six months ago which is good because we have been told not to let him get too heavy because of his hip dysplacia. At least they didn't have any accidents in the store and the rabbits and other small furries were asleep so they didn't spot them at all.

Pip rarely sits still long enough to have a photo taken so this one's a bonus
Pip has finally finished blowing and her coat is now shiny and getting silky soft again, Hugo has just started so we have another three weeks of hair everywhere - it was blowing around the car as we were driving along and kept getting in our mouths. The hoover is beginning to complain and has to be emptied every time you use it. The one bit of owning Akitas I don't like!

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Duck Hunting by the River - an Ode to Hugo and Pip

The meadows full of buttercups
And clover scents the air
The cows are grazing quietly
They do not have a care

But their peace will soon be shattered
They really should beware
Two Akitas are out walking
Miss Pip and Hugo Bear

Miss Pip she leaps in to the air
At passing butterflies
And chases them across the field
Though rarely gets her prize

Hugo prefers to scramble down
The river banks and drink
He balances precariously
Until he starts to sink

Pip loves to skip along the field
And through the thistles too
She bounces through the tall, tall grass
Just like a kangaroo!

Hugo will stop and have a sniff
At every place he can
But suddenly he'll start to roll
The sewer-pipe overran!

A thrown stick will not entice them
Into the water deep
But fluffy little moor hen chicks
Will make them take that leap

A frantic dash, they make their move
Their curly tails held high
The reeds are flattened in their haste
The ducks take off and fly!

They come back wet but smiling
So proud of what they've done
Next time they might be lucky
But chasing is such fun

Hugo and Pip just love this walk
They want to come back soon
Go duck hunting by the river
On a sunny afternoon

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Early Morning Wake Up Calls

Well, it's been almost a month since I last wrote on here for one reason and another so thought I ought to do a bit of catching up. So, in no particular order..................

This morning I was woken up at 6.15am by Hugo wondering round the bedroom, violently shaking his head every few steps, because he had SOMETHING in his ear! Funny thing was though, as soon as he knew I was awake and leaned over to give him a cuddle whatever it was seemed to disappear - hummmmmm!

The other morning we were, again, awoken earlier than necessary, this time with the sound of   crunch, crunch, crunch. Miss Pip had been down the bin in the bathroom and fished out the empty toothpaste tube. She and Hugo spent many happy hours crunching the plastic and licking out those left over remains in the bottom - at least they both had lovely minty fresh breath for a day or two which I suppose is better than when Madam insists on drinking out the toilet!

Everyone who has every had anything to do with Akitas will know that one of their traits is to have a hight prey drive - cats, small dogs, birds, in fact anything fury that moves is fair game to them. It is one of the reason's we always keep them on a lead when we walk them, one of their other characteristics being notoriously stubborn with the ability to turn a deaf ear to their owners frantic shouts if they have their mind set on catching something. However, at home in the garden they are free to wander and you regularly hear a scurry and scrabbling over the fence as some lucky cat, squirrel or bird makes their escape leaving two very frustrated, panting dogs behind. One poor blackbird was not so lucky the other week as we found Hugo and Pip playing with a rather limp specimen - we are still not so sure if they actually caught it themselves or if it flew in to the window as it did not have any marks on it but it seems to have intensified their desire to chase anything that flies and they spend hours sitting in the middle of the garden watching next door's racing pigeons fly round and round. They are certainly not amused when anything feathered lands on the roof, Pip in particular going rigid with tension as she goes in to stalk mode.

On 19th May Toby and I got up early so we could take Hugo and Pip for a walk on Selsley Common before setting off on a two-hour drive up to Stoke on Trent to meet with a group of other Akita owners for a pack walk around Wesport Lake. Two Akitas in the back of a Panda is a bit of a tight squeeze and we had to keep getting Hugo to lie down as he totally blocked the view out the rear window. Fortunately, after we had been on the motorway for a while he settled down and it was plain sailing. We had a lovely time and there were about 15 dogs there in total, including the honorary Akita, Marvin the Staffy (aka the Orange Dog). All of them were exceptionally well behaved and a credit to the breed. The walk was organised through the Akita Rescue and Welfare UK and was one of three taking place on the same day, the others being in Epping Forest and Blackpool. The weather was beautiful and the dogs enjoyed dipping in and out of the water, some even having ice creams to cool them down. Pip was more than excited to meet up again with her old foster parents Kim and Mike, and threw herself at them as soon as she saw them - a great tribute to the people who had shown her the first bit of kindness and love she had ever had when they took her in as a 12 week old puppy. We broke the journey on the way back home and called in at my parents in Stourbridge - Hugo and Pip were exhausted and so very well behaved, especially as Mum had got them some tasty bones as a treat. We didn't have to keep telling Hugo to lie down on the way home, he was flat out in the back of the car all the way back. Two very happy dogs.
Hugo likes the shade but Pip prefers the sun!

The holes in the lawn are getting bigger, despite us brushing the soil back in the holes every day! I watched Hugo the other day - he wondered over to one of the holes with a tennis ball in his mouth, looked around to see if anyone was looking, drop the ball in the hole and then proceeded to scrape it out with his feet - oh dear, the soil comes out too, but I was only getting my ball.

The garden is now very dry and dusty and, as Hugo and Pip spend much of their day rolling over and over play fighting, every time you pat one of them a huge cloud of dust rises off them. What with that and the fact Pip has been 'blowing' (moulting) for the last couple of weeks I give up with the housework (that's my excuse anyway!).