Home sweet home

We’re back in London! Although the animal life is less exotic, it’s still plenty cute.  Here’s how Otto greets us when he comes home from daycare:

Otto’s home! from Grimbil on Vimeo.

Now that the Africa adventure is over, we’ll be switching gears to focus on our upcoming renovations. So, if you want to hear about scaffolding and paint colors, stay tuned!

Happy birthday Otto!

Recently Otto celebrated his 3rd birthday. How time flies! Here’s a video of him showing off his tricks.

We are taking suggestions for what his next trick should be.

Hot dog keepin’ cool

For the past couple of days it has been hot here in London: 30+ Celsius, which translates to a whopping 86 F. Yeah, I can feel the New Yorkers and Texans rolling their eyes at me.

Poor Otto isn’t accustomed to such heat. He’s shedding even more than normal and will probably trip over his tongue at some point. We’ve been giving him ice cubes in socks as a chew toy, which seem to be helping.

But evidently swimming in the pond and then rolling around in the dust is the best way to keep cool on a walk:

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Perhaps because he knows he’ll get a nice cool hosedown afterwards.

Snowball, our neighbor’s cat, has been brazenly hanging out in our yard the past couple of days. We’re shocked to see that Otto just stares and watches Snowie for a few minutes before realizing that he could get up and give chase. Maybe it’s the heat. But eventually Otto goes from this:

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to this (Otto is just visible in the shade between the tree and the trellis):

and then spends the next 30 minutes running around the yard snuffling and woofing madly before retreating to the cool of the house again.

Return to Richmond Park

20120610-195046.jpgRichmond Park, with typical holiday weekend weather

We recently had a 4-day weekend (thanks Your Majesty!) so we decided to take Otto out for the lazy version of a country walk: Richmond Park. It’s a 2500 acre park so it feels like you’re in the middle of the countryside. I mean, this place is big enough to include a herd of deer as seen in the Fenton youtube video. It also happens to be a 20 minute drive from our house (thank you Zipcar!).

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Ready to roll

Otto definitely loves going to Richmond. He spends the entire time either running full tilt or sniffing along with nose down and tail in the air.
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But even when he is dashing around, he clearly knows where we are; there’s a certain range at which he’ll stop and turn around to give us his “hurry up” look. And if one of us heads off in a different direction to take care of a poo bag, Otto doesn’t want to move until we’re all back together. It gives me hope that when we go on a real country walk he might actually stick close to us instead of running off after rabbits. Even though his legs are only a few inches long, when he gets going he’s surprisingly fast.

Otto von Turbodog living up to his name

The highlight of the day was getting to see Otto swim, which we hadn’t seen before. I guess all the running around made him hot enough to need a refreshing dip in the pond. I was too slow with the camera to catch the 5 seconds of swimming, but I did get a shot of Grimbil helping Otto out of the water.

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Old man Otto

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Otto and Sticky check out the grass

Despite his puppyish good looks, Otto is an old man in some ways, most notably in how he handles change. He was clearly skeptical when we moved to our friends’ house during the renovations, but he powered through and learned to accept walking in a different neighbourhood and barking at a whole new set of neighbours. When we moved back in to our house, he was clearly confused especially since we are sleeping in a different bedroom.

But evidently the final straw came when Grimbil fertilised the backyard. Otto spent roughly 3 hours barking at the grass, and occasionally considering stepping on it. We tried luring him on to the grass with Sticky (the big stick we found in the park which also happens to be Otto’s favourite after dinner chew), to no avail.

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Otto on alert for …. Something

“fortunately” we had a few downpours which evidently took care of whatever mojo was bothering Otto, and now he is back to normal. Crazy dog!

Snowdog

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Last night we got our first snowfall of the year. Unlike many other dachshunds, Otto loooooves the snow and actually spends longer outside now that we have a few inches for him to play in.

I’ve never seen his “snow hop” before but I was able to capture it this morning.

During our usual Sunday walk in the park he met some mini doxies. Yep, those are fully grown minis.
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He also met his first snowman.
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It was cute to see how much energy he had, racing around in the snow.
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And it was sweet to see him crashed out for a long nap when we got home.

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