As Selsley Common (our usual walking place) has been so cold and windy lately we have found an alternative place for walking Hugo and Pip, especially as it gets so dark by the time we get home from work. Believe it or not it is at the Stonehouse Town Football club playing fields and they are only a mile or so away from where we live but we have never been there before. We came across them by chance one evening when Toby had a Doctors appointment in Stonehouse and I was going out later so we needed to fit in a quick walk somewhere and we thought the playing field might be suitable. We have often passed the club but had not realised the extent of the fields because there is a large play area and skateboard ramp on the roadside so you do not see beyond.
The club consists of several pitches and there are poo bins every few hundred yards - those of you with dogs will know how much that is appreciated - what is more they are empty and clean. Right at the far end is a lovely little stream where Hugo and Pip like to paddle and there are fields beyond the pitches that we will have to explore in warmer weather. Hugo and Pip have a wonderful time there, made even more appealing because there is hardly a soul in sight. The ground is a little boggy underfoot but, hey, that's a small price to pay for a totally stress free walk!
We have been there quite often over the last couple of weeks and have been trying to do a bit of training with treats - mainly to just get Hugo and Pip's (but mainly Hugo's) attention when we are out walking and they see another dog. Hugo just pulls when he sees one and wants to go and play (at least that's what we hope he wants to do!) and it is very hard to get him to even notice you are with him. Miss Pip, on the other hand, as soon as she hears the treat packet rustle rushes over and throws herself at you, sitting, giving paw, giving double paw, anything that might get her a treat.
Pip often has a mad five minutes when we walk but she seems to be doing this more so lately and charges as poor Hugo, tying him up in knots - Toby thinks it might be because he is looking at another lady dog in the far distance and she is telling him off! A little worrying though is they both keep trying to eat the sand that has been spread over muddy patches round the goal and side lines and we have to keep pulling them away - Pip is worse than Hugo and rushes to get to the sand when she sees it, trying to gobble as much up before we pull her away!
A couple of years ago my boss found a toy Husky dog in a charity shop and bought it for me. This sits on the side in the living room and Hugo and Pip know they are not allowed to touch it, although it has mysteriously lost it's nose at some point. However, I couldn't help but laugh the other day when I received the following email and a photo from Toby:
I regret to inform you that the toy husky has been playing up the garden with Hugo and Pip and has sustained some war wounds.Toby x
Oh, dear, poor Husky - he looks very sad and bedraggled now and I don't think he will every quite recover! Hugo and Pip showed no remorse whatsoever when I questioned them and actually seemed quite proud of what they had done.
Last week Hugo suddenly had very red eyes and we were rather worried about him. We could not get an appointment at the vet for a week or more so followed the advise of a friend - bathe his eyes in cold tea. Hugo does not mind this at all and they have vastly improved so there is something to be said for home remedies and I will certainly remember this one. Hugo and Pip are due their annual vaccinations and are booked in to the vet this week so we will get them to check his eyes anyway but I am quite happy with them.
I let Hugo and Pip up the garden the other morning and left them out there while I was making my breakfast. I looked out and could see Pip standing on the decking up the garden sniffing the air, her head proudly in the air on the prowl for the squirrel, I suspect, Of Hugo there was no sign. As I was quickly scanning the garden trying to see him a black bird suddenly shot out from the side of the shed with Hugo in hot pursuit - in your dreams Hugo, you do not stand a chance of catching it!
I had a bit of a tidy up this morning and removed all the empty pop bottles from Hugo and Pip's toy box which was beginning to resemble the recycling bin. There did not seem to be many toys left so I went off in search and found the garden looked like an explosion in a toy factory - not nice, very gruesome, with head and legs and stuffing all over the place. I went around and picked up a few of the less damaged things and popped them back in the toy box. Within seconds the darling pair dashed in, snatched one out and started playing tug-of-war with it, ripping it to shreds and leaving stuffing all over the freshly swept carpet. Love them really!