It’s Otto’s birthday!

The birthday boy

Happy birthday Otto! Today Otto turns two, which means he is officially an adult dog. But with his sweet face and silly antics, he’ll always be a puppy to us.

Zodiac sign: Aquarius

Weight: 32 lb/14.5 kg

Length (nose to tail): 44 in /111.76 cm

Height when four paws are on the ground: 19.5 in / 49 cm

Height when standing on his hind legs: 32 in /81 cm , although if he has his nose in the air add another 3 inches/ 7.62 cm, which is juuuust about kitchen counter height

Favorite foods: turkey, tripe, liver

Favorite place to take a walk: Richmond Park

Favorite game: Find it!

Likes: digging,  cuddling,  licking Grimbil’s face, going to Bruce’s Doggy Day Care, visiting our neighbors Paul & Diana, and destroying cardboard objects

Otto vs a cardboard tube. Warning: contains barking and growling

Dislikes: loud noises, unfamiliar objects

Quirks: sometimes he makes a rumbling sound when we’re petting him, kinda like he’s purring

Naughty habit: digging up the bulbs in the garden


Winter wonderland

Our street this morning

Winter has officially come to London — it has snowed every day this week. I was curious to see how Otto would handle the snow. Other doxie owners have tales of their hounds refusing to set foot outside in inclement weather, which as you can imagine isn’t so good for the housetraining.

So far Otto loves the snow. It allows him to dig pretty much everywhere, so he’s actually spending more time in the garden than before. We’ll see what happens when the snow gets deep enough to reach his bits and pieces (which won’t take much).

Neither rain nor snow shall deter Bruce’s doggy day care, and it looks like they are having loads of fun. Bruce kindly shared several videos, but my absolute favorite for sheer wackiness is the sledding video.

Otto is easy to spot since he bounces into the foreground in the beginning, and you can follow the plume of his tail the rest of the time. Although I don’t envy Bruce and Jo the time spent in the cold, looks like they are definitely keeping themselves (and the dogs) amused.

Every dog has his role in the pack: alpha, beta, omega, etc. Otto’s role is “puppy hot water bottle.” I wonder  which Greek letter that is? Evidently his preferred apres-ski activity is to lie in front of the heater soaking up the heat and letting the other puppies pile on top of him.

Otto and Rio

Open house at Bruce’s Dog Walking and Daycare Centre

Otto "in the wild" at daycare

Two Fridays ago Otto’s daycare center held an open house. It was so much fun to see how Otto spends his days, meet his friends, and meet the other “parents.”  Nice to know we’re not the only people who pamper their pets.

Open House at Bruce’s Dog Walking and Day Care Centre from Grimbil on Vimeo.

It was Grimbil’s first visit to the daycare center and he was psyched. Since my last visit they have added a pool and an agility course. Bruce and Jo are very careful not to let Otto do any of the agility jumps, but he does like to chill out in the tunnel. Evidently Otto takes after me when it comes to sports. (Bruce and Jo are in the blue t-shirts at the beginning of the video below).

Panorama of Bruce’s Dog Walking and Daycare Centre from Grimbil on Vimeo.

Bruce demo’d a typical game of fetch. It was great to see how the dogs followed him around, eagerly awaiting the next toss. He definitely has good control over them. It’s like watching the opening credits of the Dog Whisperer, when Cesar Milan is wandering around with his pack of dogs.

Fetch at Bruce’s Dog Walking and Daycare Center from Grimbil on Vimeo.

As always, Otto was a huge hit, getting lots of cuddles from everyone. There are some great pictures on Bruce’s website as well. My favorite is the picture of Jo holding Otto of course. Otto looks so big! He is 2 feet long now and weighs 12 kilos.

Bruce’s Dog Walking Blog

As mentioned before, Otto spends his days cavorting at the daycare center run by Bruce’s Dog Walking while Grimbil and I slave away at work. Given how Otto goes flying to meet Bruce when he arrives to pick Otto up in the morning, we’re pretty sure our pup is having a heck of a good time.

Bruce sends us daily dog-e-diaries, letting us know what the dogs in general and Otto in particular got up to that day.  Bruce has now added a blog to his site, so if you’re curious about what a day in the life is like, check it out!

Otto’s southern lifestyle

Now that we have moved to south London, Otto’s lifestyle has improved in a couple of ways. Not that he had it rough before by any means! But he is definitely enjoying having his own backyard instead of a balcony.

However, the biggest change in Otto’s life is his daycare. Back in East London we had a puppy nanny who came to visit Otto twice a day for an hour each visit. But south London is much more yuppy, which means more dogcare options. So now Otto attends Bruce’s doggy daycare center.

Every morning Otto is picked up from home and driven along with his doggy friends to a farm, where he spends the day playing and napping. Then he is dropped back at the house at around 3pm to hang out until we get home.

Bruce has been impressed with how quickly Otto fit in with the other dogs, which of course makes us very proud of our pup.  It’s nice to know that he is getting a chance to explore and to socialize with dogs of various ages in a safe environment.  Bruce sends us a Dog-e-diary to tell us how Otto’s day was and so far it sounds like he’s having a grand time!