Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Growing up.

Hugo & Pip at Paws in the Park Birmingham

On Sunday Hugo and Pip took us to Paws in the Park in Birmingham to meet up with all their friends from Akita Rescue and Welfare. We had a brilliant day and the rain held off - the dogs were all very well behaved and as long as we kept Hugo, Obi, Princess Tia and Tyson apart (all like to be dominant) there were no issues. The dogs were particularly happy that the ARW stand was right next to the burger van and tasty scraps of food were on hand throughout the day. It was at this very event one year ago that we met Pip for the first time and a few weeks later came home with us for good. We can't believe how much she has grown in that time. Needless to say we had two very tired bears in the car on the way home and they forewent any offers of tea or walks before bedtime (think the burgers might have suppressed their appetites anyway!).

As you may already know we have a Fiat Panda which is not the biggest car in the world but we love it. When Hugo and Pip travel in the car it has always been a bit of a concern how close they are to the driver and Hugo, in particular, likes to stand breathing down your neck. For safety reasons we have been looking at different car guards and decided to try a net instead and it was on this journey to Paws in the Park that we tried it out. Hugo was not impressed but found he could put his head over with his chin resting on top of the net - it did keep him back a bit and it would have stopped them flying through the gap if we had to stop suddenly so think it will do the trick. Later in the week Toby raised it up a bit but naughty Hugo found this position was far better and he could worm his way underneath so it's back to the original way from now on! 

Hugo behind the net in the car - not impressed!

Chilling out on the journey home
As I have been off work for the last fortnight I have been continuing with taking Hugo and Pip up on to Selsley Common each day on my own. Following some comments with our Akita friends I wanted to try and be a bit more relaxed when approaching other dogs. Up to now I have tended to reign Hugo and Pip right in, standing still with them held close to me until it is safe to let them go on a longer lead again. Was this making them (Hugo more than Pip) anxious and more determined to try and get to the other dogs? On Monday I set off and we first met a man with two off-lead dogs - a whippet and a terrier - who made a bee line for Hugo and Pip. I shortened the leads but kept on walking - fortunately these were a friendly pair and just wanted to play so after a few darts backwards and forwards daring each other from all four parties we passed without any problems. Sigh of relief! We did not meet anyone else until we were on the way back to the car when a woman with three small dogs, all off-lead, approached. Two of them took no notice whatsoever of Hugo and Pip but the third, a border terrier, rushed straight up to Hugo and stopped right in front of him. I stopped walking and Hugo put out one big paw and batted the dog with it - the dog rolled over but then came straight back, snarling and barking round Hugo's nose. Hugo behaved impeccably and seemed rather bemused - I kept walking and he came too whilst the terrier ran back to it's owner. Pip hadn't taken any notice of any of them so I was really proud of them. Stupid woman owner though, not once did she call the dogs back and didn't utter a word throughout so I bit my tongue and stayed silent too. 
The day we met Pip last year

I don't know whether it is because I am walking Hugo and Pip more myself but Hugo is suddenly becoming very affectionate and wants to sit right up close to me, pivoting his head back and round, like an owl, so I can rub his chin for him. Pip has always been a cuddle monster but Hugo is usually more aloof so this is lovely. I do have one little problem with him at the moment and I am sure he just does it to tease me - I always take a glass of water to bed with me and every morning he tries to take a slurp out of it, 9 times out of 10 just licking the edge of the glass leaving a slobbering trail, disgusting dog! This is made worse by the fact that Miss Pip has educated him in where to get a drink during the night without having to go downstairs - out the toilet!

The same event, one year on
Pip has re-acquainted herself with the delights of hiding under the decking - she hasn't been under there for a while but we had a moment of panic earlier this week when we suddenly realised she was missing. We had been sitting out in the garden and thought she had wondered back in the house but when we went in she was not there. After a quick search upstairs she was no where to be found until Toby went up the garden and she squeezed her way out to meet him! Must remember to look there first in the future.