Saturday, 24 November 2012

Creature comforts

Had an hours lie in this morning till 7.30am until Hugo decides his routine has been disturbed and comes and lies in the middle of us on the bed. We also hear a rustling sound and guess Pip is up to mischief - the next thing we know is the toilet roll is on the bed as well!

We were all out for an hour or so today so we left Hugo and Pip in the kitchen behind the child gate with lots of toys, food, blankets etc. and they could go in the garden if they wanted. It was chucking it down with rain again while we were out but when we got back there was no sign of them inside anywhere which is very unusual as they are normally barking (Pip) and whining (Hugo) for attention and treats when we come in. Looked through the kitchen window and there they were, having a fine old time, chasing and boxing and rolling with each other round the garden - or rather, should I say, the mud patch! You can imagine the state of them and we had to leave them in the kitchen for a while so they would dry off before letting them in the living room.

I know it was a bit chilly today but Miss Pip has been very attached to the fire this afternoon - still amazes me that she gets so close and neither Hugo or Sid would go near it.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Nice and Clean!

Yesterday morning Hugo was fast asleep on the landing outside our bedroom door when Martin got up to go and have a wash in the bathroom. When I got up Hugo did too and I noticed something that he had been lying on - it was a bar of Imperial Leather soap, only a little bit chewed and with just a few dog hairs. He must have felt a little bit peckish and taken it from the dish in the bathroom during the night - makes me feel queasy to think about it!

Nobody loves me!
Later in the day Toby took Hugo and Pip up on the common after the worst of the rain was over but they came back absolutely covered in mud. There was no option but to bath them! We have never bathed Hugo before as he really is too heavy to manhandle, especially as he is none too keen on the idea but Toby and I between us managed to heave him into the water. He was not impressed and even less so when I used the shower attachment to rinse him off. He was a lot easier getting out the bath than getting in and proceeded to shake himself everywhere. As he is frightened of towels the best I could do was to tie one round him, superman-style, to soak up the worst of the water - he was not happy and just stood there until we took pity on him and removed it.  Miss Pip, on the other hand was not bothered in the slightest and lifted her legs up to be washed underneath and was quite happy to be dried off. The water in the bath was a thick brown gloop and I had to unblock the plug hole because of their hair so think a good wash was long overdue.  Both of them lay in front of the fire most of the evening and seemed to be exhausted by the experience - they didn't even bother going out for a walk later on. This morning both of them are beautifully soft and a LOT whiter than they have been for a while. Doubt it will last long in this weather though.
Hugo willing the cheese to fall off!

It was dark early tonight and very windy so rather than go anywhere too exposed we took them down the canal - Hugo was pulling like a train and I had to keep stopping and making him sit just to get some control back - think the Halti will be making an appearance again soon. Pip was jumping around so suspect the wind was ruffling both of them and leaves were blowing everywhere.. Needless to say both of them had to drink the canal water so ended up with mud on their legs again. Never mind, at least we managed to take them out for a while.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Walking in the woods.

Looking back to Penn Woods from
halfway up the field
We took Hugo and Pip for a really good walk through Penn Woods, just off Selsley Common yesterday. We had to walk down a steep path to get to the kissing gate which lead in to the woods and this was hilarious to start with - the path was covered with slippery beech leaves which are bad enough when you are on your own, but when you have two excited Akitas pulling you hard you can imagine the consequences! We slipped and slithered down the hill, and couldn't stop laughing - it was by sheer luck we didn't end up on the ground. Why is it that although there is a perfectly good kissing gate the dogs prefer to go underneath or through the railings of the fence instead? We ended up in a right pickle with me in the middle of the gate, Toby on one side of the fence and the dogs on the other and the leads tying us all up together - just glad no one was watching.

Once in the woods the path went down and down, through mud and leaves, Hugo and Pip pulling Toby and me down the hill with them - we could have done with a sledge really but they do like to go through the trees! Rather than going back the same way we had come we skirted round the bottom of the hill and cut across a field to get back to the common and where the car was parked. Although it was shorter it was much steeper but Hugo and Pip were full of energy and really enjoying themselves. At the bottom of the path was an old bath tub used to water the horses who lived in those fields so Hugo decided to have a drink - he really made himself jump though when his name tag clanged the side of the metal bath! Silly boy, he's a bit of a wuss really!

On the edge of Penn Wood
This morning was bright and frosty. Pip had sneaked up on our bed about 5 o'clock and was fast asleep but Hugo decided that 7am was LATE and he huffed in my face till I went and let him out in the garden. The pair of them went absolutely potty, skidding across the frost on the decking and licking everything that had crystals of ice on it. 

Toby and I took them back on  Selsley Common this afternoon but only on the flat bit on the top - our legs couldn't cope with the hills in the woods two days running. It was a beautiful afternoon with bright sunshine and quite warm but, unfortunately, this also meant lots of other people and their dogs were out walking too so Hugo was being a bit of a nightmare pulling in all directions to try and get to them. After about 5 minutes of this I had had enough so dragged him round to me, made him sit and held his face so he was looking at me and told him very firmly that he WAS going to walk nicely - amazed it seemed to work and he was fine after that so very pleased with him.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Mud, Mud, Glorious Mud!

Mud, mud, glorious mud!
Pip enjoying the mud
Toby decided to take Hugo and Pip down to the meadows yesterday morning - BIG mistake! The cows have churned the field up so much the mud is literally about a foot deep. The dogs absolutely loved it though, especially in the really soggy bits going into the river - all three of them were caked in mud and Toby had so much stuck in and on his boots he ended up taking them off and carrying them home. So, you can imagine the state of Hugo and Pip's legs - all of which should be white. To make matters worse, Hugo wouldn't let Toby get any of it off him when he came home. For those who don't know this area, the heavy clay here can be used to make a natural watertight lining to ponds and canals - it thick, very sticky and a bluish brown in colour. As it gradually dried it turned into a fine powder so we are now constantly trying to brush bits out of them - the seat of the black leather settee where pip lies is now a dull matt brown and I don't think Hugo's legs will ever be white again!

Later in the day Toby noticed they were playing with what he thought was a bit of fur from a deceased teddy bear until he spotted a tail and nose - it was a small mouse (very dead and squashed)! Have no idea if they caught it themselves or if next doors cat had left them a present but what did worry me was that it was black in colour - hope it wasn't someone's beloved pet!!!

Where did all this come from?!!
The little monkeys killed another kitchen roll today - this time there was only a little bit in the kitchen but the garden was awash with it! I am seriously going to have to find somewhere else to keep it - hiding the cook books in a cupboard certainly stopped the previous destructive streak so think I'm going to have to go minimalist (until you actually look in the cupboards that  is!).

We took them up on Selsley Common this evening - Hugo and Pip behaved quite well - but only because it was getting dark, big scaredy cats!! Normally Hugo is on the alert for any dog on the horizon but today he could see the cars going along the road on the edge of the common as they had their lights on so he kept 'pointing' at them instead and got quite excited  - perhaps he needs his eyes testing.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

We love each other really!

Toby wasn't well today so rather than me trying to manage both Hugo and Pip on a long walk on my own I thought I would take them one at a time on a shorter one. Normally they are quite jealous of each other and as soon as you make a fuss of one the other pushes in so I thought they would enjoy the individual attention for a change.

I took Hugo first and although he walked much better than usual without pulling too much (no competition from Pip to be first all the time) he kept looking back over his shoulder, winging and whining for the whole walk. When I got back I switched them over and took Pip. She was quite skittish when she was walking although she hardly pulled at all BUT ....... she winged and whined, looking back over her shoulder for the whole walk!!

When we got back I asked Toby how they had been when they were left behind. Pip had stood behind the front door crying and Hugo had kept running up and down the stairs till we were back. 

Talk about separation anxiety!Think they are fonder of each other than they would care to admit.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Walking the plank!

Walking the plank!
We have been taking Hugo and Pip for walks up on Selsley Common or through Randwick Woods the last couple of weeks so when Toby and I took them along the canal the other evening they were really excited. They were darting all over the place, sniffing and having a grand old time. As the garden is still cordoned off poor Hugo has been deprived of his beloved pond water so he was climbing down the banks of the canal every few yards to have a good old drink. He must have rather overdone it though because he suddenly did the largest burp you have ever heard!

Looks like Pip is chasing Hugo in her sleep
When we got to the lock gates I was holding on to Hugo and Toby had Pip but we had to hurriedly switch leads as Hugo took off across the wooden plank walk way on to the other side of the canal and Toby had to go with him! He had spotted 3 ducks sitting in the grass and was very disappointed when they immediately jumped in the water, quaking loudly (actually it sounded like they were laughing at him!) Neither Toby or I like water and don't 'do' heights (the lock is about 20ft deep) so it wasn't very nice for Toby having to walk the plank. Hugo didn't bat an eyelid though and wanted to keep going back and forth - just had visions of him coming to the end of his lead and getting yanked back into the water - he would have been on his own if he had!!
Making friends with 'the monster'

Yesterday Toby and I went to do a home check for the Akita Rescue and Welfare and took Hugo and Pip with us. They were very well behaved for them - they only churned up the lawn, drank the dregs of coffee out of a cup on the table and went upstairs to check the bedrooms!

Had a good walk up on Selsley Common this afternoon - lovely sunshine and quite warm too. Hugo and Pip were very interested in a hang glider trying to take off and Hugo wanted to chase it. Must be getting braver because he also made friends with 'the monster' and wee'd up it!

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Helping clean

This morning Hugo bought the kitchen roll in to the living room and presented it to Martin - fortunately there was only a couple of sheets left on it and he was allowed to chew it up. Without any more thought I took a new roll out and put it back on the work surface in the kitchen,

Toby had to go out for a couple of hours so left Hugo and Pip in the kitchen with their blankets, toys, food, water, back door open and the radio on for company (it's a bit like a military operation when we are getting ready to go out and the dogs are staying at home!).

When Toby came back, yes, you've guessed it - kitchen roll EVERYWHERE! Through the kitchen, into the hall, in the outhouse and up the garden - it was if it had been snowing!

Tonight as I was tidying up Hugo thought it would be fun to have a game of Tug with me and the duster - very helpful!

Please note - we are in the middle of putting
a new kitchen in which is why the one door is
 missing and the lino is down to what was there
when  we moved in  27 years ago!
It wasn't us!!

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Halloween, Fireworks and Bed Fellows!

I'm so happy I could laugh!
You've got to be quicker than that Toby!
It was Halloween on Thursday night and much as I disagree with the whole thing I always have a big bowl of sweets and chocolate ready for the neighbours kids when they come knocking at the door.

Hugo and Pip were brilliant - to begin with every time the door was knocked Pip would bark and they would both come with me to the door to see who was there - the kids love them and almost forget why they are coming round as they try to pat and stroke the dogs. Of course, Hugo and Pip were in their element and the strange masks and wigs didn't bother them in the slightest - they were, however, slightly miffed that chocolate was being handed out with no sign of any coming in their direction. After half a dozen or so callers Pip had had enough and woofed from the settee without moving so Hugo got all the fuss.

This way!
Both Hugo and Pip sleep upstairs at night with Pip on her blanket at the top of the stairs and Hugo on his on the floor at the foot of the bed - a bit of an obstacle course if you have to get up in the night but they seem quite content. Miss Pip, however, has discovered our bed is more comfortable then her blanket and we quite often find her on the bed when we wake up in the morning - usually with pins and needles or cramp because she is laying across our legs. Then she tried pushing her luck by getting up as we were going to bed and we had a couple of nights very poor sleep as she would lie across the bed rather than down it so we started to push her off. Hugo does get up on the bed but usually for never more than 5-10 minutes before jumping back off but he has now taken matters into his own hands. As we go up to bed HE gets on the middle of the bed and lies down (surprisingly although he is twice the size of Pip he takes up less room then she does!). When Pip comes in there isn't room for her so she goes and lies on her blanket, we put the lights out, Hugo waits for about 5 minutes and then gets off and we have a free bed - what a clever boy!

I can smell something, where is it?
There are still remnants of the big bones they had last week lying around the house and some of these pieces have found their way upstairs. Pip is a bit of a madame and will steal Hugo's from out of his mouth but he is getting crafty as well. The other morning Pip was downstairs and Hugo jumped up on the bed between us for a cuddle (he's a big softie first thing in the morning) when he heard Pip coming upstairs, quickly jumped off the bed, found his bone, jumped back on the bed and lay on top of the bone so she didn't know he had it.

Fireworks, what fireworks?
Toby and I took Hugo and Pip up to Randwick woods this afternoon and we walked for well over an hour with them - they had a fantastic time and had us wrapped round the trees several times. It was beautiful up there today with the sun streaming through the branches on to the fallen beech leaves below. They were quite skittish and darting hither and thither. Several times Hugo picked up the trail of something and I was dragged after him through the undergrowth - didn't actually find anything but he had a great time. We saw a couple of people with four Huskies which Hugo and Pip would have quite liked to have joined but we wouldn't let them - think they had their hands full as it was.

Fireworks are going off all around tonight and I am pleased to report Hugo and Pip are not bothered in the slightest, even when our neighbour across the road let off several really loud ones - they just twitch an ear or stretch but don't seem to even notice most of them. Hugo asked to go up the garden when I was cooking tea and a rocket went up from just a few doors down - he just looked up at the pretty colours with his head on one side until it was finished and then carried on as normal.