Sunday, 7 February 2016

Winter Walks

Canal walk
Well January was a bit of a mixed bag of weather, mostly wet, windy and cold but with a couple of real gems of days thrown in when we have managed to take Hugo and Pip on lovely walks in brilliant sunshine, even stopping off at a local canal-side cafĂ© and sitting out in the sun. Unfortunately, it has, more often than not, been wet and we have resorted to quick trips round Minchinhampton Common with Hugo and Pip doing the necessary before jumping back in the car and going home. As with the rest of us who do not exercise enough the weight soon starts to pile on and Hugo, more than Pip, is looking decidedly chunky – I have likened it to a seal putting on a layer of blubber for the winter – and he has a definite waddle when he walks! Now Martin is more mobile since his knee replacement he has started walking them during the daytime and, because he favours the canal where he can walk from home which is much more sheltered than on top of the hill, walks can be longer. Hopefully, once the rain eventually stops and the garden dries out Hugo and Pip can expend some excess energy chasing each other around again and shed those pounds.

Room for a little one!
Yesterday was particularly nasty and we eventually braved the wind and rain late in the afternoon on our way to pick up Daniel from work. As we got to Minchinhampton Common the wind picked up and the rain turned to sleet driving it horizontally into our faces which was very painful. Martin gave up and went back to the car while Hugo, Pip and I carried on – Hugo with half closed eyes and ears flat back against the wind whilst Miss Pip didn’t seem to notice at all and pranced along as usual. Needless to say we were saturated and were glad to get back in the car. Once home the fire was soon on and that was where Hugo and Pip stayed for the rest of the evening, toasting themselves and getting dry.

Unfortunately, we did not stay dry for long! Today was the day for the Akita Rescue and Welfare pack walk at West Park in Wolverhampton and we needed to take Hugo and Pip for a quick walk before we set off, otherwise they start moaning and we have to stop – they associate going in the car with going for a walk and are used to being able to get out within 5-10 minutes of setting off. Daniel needed a lift to work so Hugo and Pip were most surprised to be wakened from their slumbers at 7.30am this morning and bundled in the car as well. It was still raining and the roads were awash but the sky was looking brighter on the horizon and by the time we dropped Daniel off it was only spotting and had stopped by the time we reached the Common. Within 2 minutes of setting off the heavens opened again with the same painful sleet as yesterday and, once more, we were soaked. Back home I got changed, (again!), and Hugo and Pip lay in front of the fire for half an hour before we had to leave with Martin taking the opportunity of brushing some of the loose fur out of Hugo, although he still looks very tufty as his coat is blowing.

Young Moose
Toby was at work today so couldn't come with us but we went and picked up Steph – as soon as Hugo and Pip saw where we were they started barking (Hugo) and howling (Pip)  until she got in the car where she was smothered in doggy kisses! Despite the early walk Pip started pacing and panting in the car and we knew we would have to stop so ended up calling in at Strensham – just
Little Dotty
half an hour down the road! We eventually arrived, first as usual, and we met up with all our furry friends. The rain held off for most of the walk and we had a lovely turn out, made even more special by a few young puppies (under 7 months old) who joined us. Even Hugo likes a puppy and he made friends with little Luna and walked quite happily with her for a while. I think we all fell in love with young Moose and baby Dotty, two long coat Akitas who were just balls of fluff and they bought back fond memories of Sid.

Hugo eyeing up the pork pie!
On the way home we called in at Granny and Granddads where Hugo and Pip were greeted with their favourite chews and quickly settled down. There were also some goodies for the humans which went down very well and Hugo thought they looked pretty tasty too and sat staring at the pork pie and sausage rolls until Granddad gave in and gave him (and Pip) some.

After a very full day Hugo and Pip are, once again, snoozing in front of the fire and don’t look like doing anything too energetic any time soon.