Saturday, 25 April 2015

Spring catch up!

Once again time has been speeding by and it has been two months since I last wrote so I think it is time for a catch up.

Hugo and Pip made their usual appearance at Crufts in March, representing Akita Rescue & Welfare Trust on the breed rescue stand and spent  four hours being petted and loved by hundreds of people who came to the stand. As is normal at any event at the N.E.C. we had to park quite some distance from the buildings and thought we would have a long trek in. Not so this time as there was a conveniently timed shuttle bus that was virtually empty just waiting to pick us up. This was a first for Pip (Hugo having being taken on the local bus by Daniel when he was younger) so Toby and I were interested to see how they would react. Apart from the fact there was another dog just inside the entrance that Hugo would have dearly liked to 'play' with we made our way to the back of the bus where Hugo and Pip had a grand view of everything we passed and they sat down beautifully watching the world go by. Success! We had a slight moment of panic when we got just inside the building which was chock-a-block with people, dogs and loud noises. Hugo and Pip had their head collars on and we held them very close to us but Hugo must have suddenly felt overwhelmed by his surroundings and tried to back away, slipping his head out of his collar as he went! Fortunately, Toby was right behind me with Pip and we managed to grab him and get the collar back on before he escaped. After that the day went very smoothly and they behaved brilliantly - they were so exhausted and so relaxed towards the end of our stint on the stand that they both lay down and went to sleep despite the loud speakers blaring out every few minutes and people trying to stroke them.

On the same weekend as Crufts Martin went into hospital for a knee replacement and we were worried how Hugo and Pip would be around him when he came home. They tend to get excited and playful, especially in the evening, and we had visions of them crashing into his bad leg or tripping him over. We have been very pleased that they have done none of these things and have been very gentle when near him. When he first got home they took turns in climbing up on the settee next to him, Hugo even laying his head over Martin's leg as if to protect it. Pip, being the woman that she is, decided she did not like that nasty hospital smell and proceeded to wash his hands and arms until it was gone. Martin was always the one who took Hugo and Pip for their first walk of the day, albeit only a short one and we were surprised when Daniel took on this role without being asked - those of you that know him will understand what a miracle that is! Pip has always being wary of Daniel and barks every time he comes in but since he has been walking them she has begun to like him and now woo-woo's at him bringing a toy as a present when he comes through the door so some good had come out of it.

Just two weeks ago we went up to Sutton Coldfield for an ARW pack walk and we had a most enjoyable time around the lack and woods. Toby and his girlfriend, Steph, came too and I can honestly say this is the best pack walk I have ever been on because I let them take Hugo and Pip whilst I took photos and chatted to the others - I think Hugo and Pip enjoyed it too with younger legs taking them at a quicker pace.

Martin and I took Hugo and Pip to one of the places we used to take the boys very often when they were younger but haven't been for years -  to the Cotswold Water Park at Ashton Keynes. Martin still cannot walk far so we left him at the lakeside coffee shop and Hugo, Pip and I set off around the lake. After a brief stop to drink out of the lake (Hugo and Pip, not me) we followed the path through shaded paths with not a soul in sight. At the far end of the lake there were gaps in the undergrowth where Hugo and Pip could creep down and paddle in the cool water. As we rounded the lake, almost back to where we had started, 
the vegetation thinned out and there was a wide 'beach' where Hugo and Pip took great delight in  wadding through the waves that the wind had whipped up. I didn't feel we had gone quite far enough on such a pleasant day so instead of walking the last 100 yards to meet Martin at the coffee shop, we turned around and did the route in reverse. A good two mile walk with no-one to bother us at all so one that we all thoroughly enjoyed. Next time we might consider the other lake which joins that one and is two miles round. We rounded off our time there with a cool drink on the terrace over looking the lake where Hugo and Pip lay down, exhausted from their activities. Not much movement from them even now but there is that very familiar smell of wet dog!