Thursday, 16 October 2014

Getting wet!

ARW Pack Walk
Telling Granddad about
falling in the lake
After a miserable week of rain, hail and wind we were relieved to wake up on Sunday morning to find the storms had stopped, but only to be replaced by fog. Today was the day for an Akita Rescue & Welfare pack walk in West Park in Wolverhampton so, as we usually do on these occasions, Toby and I took Hugo and Pip up onto Selsley Common at about 8 o’clock so they would not spend the journey moaning. As we drove up the hill we were stunned by the sight of the fog lying low in the valleys where we had come from, clinging to the slopes like a giant spider’s web, although we were above the clouds in bright sunlight. It promised to be a beautiful day once the sun had warmed up and burnt the mists away.

Too tired to move
Most of the journey was foggy but, as we got closer to Wolverhampton, it began to clear and by the time we reached West Park it was a lovely sunny day, although a little cold. We were quite early but could see another Akita in the distance who we quickly recognised as Tally so we went to join them. Hugo started his ‘I am boss’ game of woofing and bowing, jumping up and down at Tally, forgetting that she, also, likes to be No.1 so we kept them a little way apart. As more dogs began to arrive we all stood around in a big circle as they decided the pecking order with lots of woofs and jumping around – from a distance it must have sounded like a load of demented seals (or is that just Hugo?)! They soon settled down and, once we started walking, were beautifully behaved. We had a brilliant walk, three times around the park and caused lots of interest with passers-by – 13 Akitas and two honorary Akitas are quite a sight to behold. It was great to put faces to names and I think all our dogs did the breed proud.

Pip smelling out anything
that moves
Hugo sporting the
latest perfume
A lot of the party decided to leave after the second turn around the park but a few of us stayed to go again. In the middle of the park was a very large lake which most of the dogs had taken advantage of by taking long drinks. Hugo and Pip were no exception but, on the third circuit of the park we had a bit of an accident. Hugo was stretching down to drink the water but suddenly slipped and fell right in – the water was quite deep and he had a moment of panic as he flailed around until he touched the side and I managed to reach down, grab his collar and yank him out. It had to be Hugo didn't it? He was absolutely soaking wet and, to make matters worse, this was the one occasion when I had forgotten to put a towel in the car. We had planned to call in on my parents after the walk so I had to phone ahead so they could be prepared for our arrival. When we got there one of Hugo’s most hated things was hanging on the gate ready for him – a towel. I managed to get him slightly drier and then he and Pip dived into the house for their treats that Granny was sure to have for them. Shattered from the walk they soon fell asleep.
Off-lead Sheep!

Badger!
Toby and I took Hugo and Pip to Woodchester Mansion again today and had a wonderful time walking round the grounds and the lakes, with sunshine too. We sat down at one point to have a drink and Hugo promptly lay himself down in the runniest cow poo you have ever seen – thanks Hugo, nice perfume! Miss Pip was on high alert, diving and pointing at anything in the hedgerows and banks that move, although she has yet to catch anything. She was particularly interested in a badger’s sett, cautiously sniffing around the entrance so we called Hugo to come and check it out too – typical Hugo, dived head first in without considering the consequences. I think it was a very good job that old Brock wasn't at home or he might have had a bit of a shock.
Cooling their feet!

Hugo and Pip love it round the lakes when they can paddle and drink to their hearts content, although Pip looked to be dirtier when she got out than when she went in. Fortunately, Hugo did manage to wash of the cow poo that he had sat in earlier! We walked for over two and a half hours so there has not been much movement from Hugo and Pip since we got home, apart from charging up the stairs the minute we got through the door and rolling around on our bed, no doubt the best way to dry themselves! Hugo has been twitching and snorting in his sleep so perhaps he has encountered a real badger in his dreams or perhaps it was one of those pesky off-lead sheep that we pulled him away from.