It has happened twice in the past month, making my heart stop every time. Gabi’s leash got caught between the harness attachment and the seat belt buckle.
We use a Safety Belt Clip which I attach to her leash, which is attached to a step-in harness to (although the seat belt clip is meant to attach directly to the harness). Why via the leash? I have found that attaching the belt to the leash (which is attached to the harness), is easier and faster than attaching the clip directly to the harness.
The two incidents with the leash really scared me. The first time, the leash was around her one hind leg and if I didn’t catch her she might have broken her leg, which is something that happens easily with Italian Greyhounds. Today she kind of hung by the harness, but she also could’ve gotten seriously hurt if I didn’t catch her and lift her back into the car. What made things more difficult is that, as usual, she was so over eager and excited to get out of the car and getting the leash untangled was extremely tricky.
From no on when we ride in the car, I will be attaching the seat belt clip directly to her harness… and the leash will be nowhere near Gabi.
Lately, whenever we go to the park, I have to carry Gabi at least some of the time. I didn’t know if she was a little cold, but it’s getting warmer now and she still does it. I’m not sure if it’s the other dogs (though often she’s the only dog there), if she’s tired or if she’s just enjoying the attention. The other day I had to carry her 70% of the time! You’re probably wondering why I just don’t turn around and go home, but I need the excessive too. She loves running in the park and chasing birds.
Another habit she’s developed recently, is to bark when the car stops at the complex gates on our way back from the park. She usually barks at the dogs whose home is the first house inside thew complex and then she keeps on barking until I take her out of the car. I assumed she start barking when I got out of the car to get the mail, but she did it even when I didn’t get out of the car. Today she upped her game, by barking a whole block away from home already. Loudly.
She ate two things off the ground at the park today which I couldn’t identify. If she keeps doing it, I will have to keep her on the leash. I don’t want her to get sick because some thoughtless lazy -ahole was too lazy to throw the waste from whatever crap he was eating in the bin.
Has it really been a year? Time seems irrelevant somehow. Yet it is still a mile stone. A year ago my dad and I drove to a park in Johannesburg to meet Gabi. She was somewhat shy and was off running around, exploring, not all that interested in us. When I walked with her on the leash we started bonding. When we met with other dogs, she jump up on me and I knew she wanted me to pick her up. After the walk she immediately climbed in her crate, but when we called her she came over and got into the car. I sat on the backseat next to her. She slept the whole way. And that, as they say was it.
Sunday (13 January)
Woke up when it was still dark out and started to drive. We had breakfast around nine at a lovely little tea garden at the Little Church in Van Reenen. We chose this as our breakfast spot because it is dog friendly. We got to Ramsgate around two. We unpacked and had some coffee. We went for a short drive to the main beach. Only after walking the beach with Gabi, did we see the no dogs sign. Nobody complained though, but it was pretty quiet. Gabi was exhausted and spend the most of the remainder of the day sleeping. Until she saw a ginger cat. I had no problem falling asleep.
Our fir morning waking up in the holiday flat.Woke up early, around six. After breakfast we drove to the beach and went for an exploratory walk. Gabi enjoyed running and sniffing on the beach. We play fetch, but their was no treats so we had to catch her every time to get the ball. Then went home for the parents to change into their swimsuits. We went back to the beach to swim. Gabi had a long run at what seemed like full speed. She didn’t seem to like the waves, but had no problem running through streams and puddles. She tried to jump up a rock that is 5 foot high by the looks of it, but didn’t quite make it. She then was exhausted and ran to the parking area to find our car. We went back to the flat for lunch and rest. Gabi was exhausted Early afternoon I took her out side (in the street) for a walk. I didn’t get far before I saw something in the road. At first I thought it was a cat, but then it stood on its hind legs and I could see. It was a monkey. Then I saw more of them at the side of the road, in the vegetation. I wondered if we should just turn around, but I foolishly decided to carry on. When we got closer to the corner, the monkeys didn’t seem like they would run the other way so I picked Gabi up in my arms. The one monkey, a male, wasn’t intimidated by Gabi’s new height and followed us up the street. I would stomp my feet and say NO, but he’d just pause and then keep following us. Eventually we reached a house where there were some workmen were outside and the monkey went up a tree. We continued up the road until the next intersection and then we turned around. There were no sign of the primates on our way back. However, later, when my parents returned from the mall and the monkeys got in to the apartment building’s yard when they drove through the gate. Everyone went inside and closed their doors while the monkeys raided the trash. The next time I took Gabi out they were gone. Gabi kept bugging me to go outside. There are so many things to sniff and there is a ginger cat she seems to be itching to chase. It’s different here than at home, because here we’re not on the ground floor with a private garden. I don’t always know if Gabi’s just being silly or if she has to potty.
An overcast and breezy day.We drove to Trafalgar and had a nice walk on the beach. Gabi had a blast running back and forth between me and my parents. On the way back we stopped at a farm stall and took a chance by carrying Gabi with us. The owner, who has a Jack Russel, loved Gabi and said we could put her down on the ground. When we got back to the flat Gabi was exhausted. Not too exhausted however to want to go chase the cat down the hall. We had dinner at the Crayfish Inn. They were kind enough to allow Gabi in. It was still early and we were the only patrons. The floor was cold and hard and I didn’t bring Gabi’s sleeping bag so she was standing under the table the whole time. They even brought her a bowl of water.
We went for a walk at the beach. We played fetch and Gabi buried the ball. We forgot to get it and the ball got left behind. A rainy afternoon. Gabi she figured out she could go through the safety door and she ran out and went to bark at the ginger cat. I had to go and pick her up. Later when it cleared up, my parents went to swim at the main beach while Gabi and I walked to our beach.
A drizzly morning. We went to our beach for a short walk and to look for Gabi’s ball, but it was gone.
A very humid day. We drove to Trafalgar again for our morning walk. In the afternoon my dad and I went to swim at the main beach of Ramsgate, while my mother who was tired stayed at home with Gabi. It is a nice flat swimming beach without rocks underfoot between the flagged area. Gabi was ecstatic when we got home. However she darted out when we opened the safety door to go bark at the ginger cat who was lying on his welcome mat. I went to pick up Gabi and the cat’s owner came outside to get her. Naughty Gabi. It was raining pretty hard this evening. I think it’s going to be an early night.
On Worker’s Day (May 1st) 2012, Gabi and I joined some friends at Walk Haven dog park for some fun. The park is enormous and indeed a haven for dogs. They can frolic off-leash and swim in several ponds. There are also bowls of water provided for the dogs.
For the humans there are several picnic tables, braai (BBQ) facilities and a restaurant. There are also public restrooms and a reel of plastic baggies for your dogs.
They do charge an entrance fee, but seeing as it is a secure environment for dogs, and you can make a day of it, it is worth it.
This was my first visit there with Gabi. When I stopped the car and she saw the park Gabi started crying excitedly. However she did not immediately jump out of the car after I release her seat belt, like she would at her normal park, but waited for me to coax her out.
She seemed to enjoy the park but she was still extremely cautious of other dogs and would jump up into my arms whenever any dog got too close for comfort. She was spoiled by the girls in my crowd with treats and biscuits. The dogs in our crowd included: a springer spaniel, a bull terrier, a mixed breed, a rottie, 3 pekingese, a boston terrier and a sharpei.
While one of the other dogs stole some food at lunch time, little Gabi just sat politely on the bench trying to stare the fries out oc my friend’s plate.
We went for about 3 walks. Tough some of the other dogs in our group swam, Gabi did not. She did at one crossing however run through some shallow pond water instead of using the bridge. She also got splashed by the larger dogs shaking water off their coats.
Gabi was exhausted and slept the entire hour-something drive home. Even though May is technically winter in SA, we’ve been having weirdly warm weather. So, Gabi was bathed when we got home.
On Saturday evening (last night) I went out with my parents, my brother and his girlfriend for my father’s birthday dinner. Gabi was left home alone, but of course with enough food and some treats placed in different places like inside a paper roll. She could go outside through the security gate of the back door.
It seemed that Gabi was fine alone. Although she didn’t run around out back to meet the family at the front gate, she did wait at the front door. I went in a minute after my parents (who said Gabi was looking for me) and was met outside by an eager Gabi.
Today we drove to my aunt and uncle’s house, about 2 hours out of town, for lunch. since my maternal grandmother is visiting them at the moment. Gabi went with us. She was not too taken with their (outside) dog “Piggy”, who’s probably a Borador (Labrador X Border Collie). Piggy is a sweet old girl, but Gabi would stand on the porch and bark at her. If we were outside and Piggy was nearby, Gabi would try to jump up in my arms.
Gabi at some point had my mom fed-up with her, because she kept on trying to climb on her lap and kept putting her paws on my aunt’s leather couch. Gabi was very naughty today. At some point she was roaming around and I felt suspicious. My grandmother thought she was probably outside playing, but I went to check anyway. I did find her outside with a piece of wet plastic wrap/bag in her mouth. I found a similar piece on the kitchen floor. These bags had been part of the raw chicken breast packaging! ICK! ICK! ICK! She must’ve jumped up and taken it from the kitchen counter. I understand eating chicken is natural for dogs, I even got her some doggy chicken biltong (jerky – don’t worry it was produced in SA, not China), but RAW is just dangerous and unhigenic. Not even mentioning how grows I find any kind of raw meat.
It gets even grosser:
This evening I went into my room in semi-darkness. I saw Gabi standing in front of her bed, looking down at it. I thought she wanted to be tucked in, so I waled over there and picked up her blanket. I was about to cover her when she picked up something in her mouth. At first I thought it was some food, but I was bigger than anything she’s fed. I thought it was something she had taken from the house, so I took it from her. It felt WRONG! I put it down on the floor.
It was a dead baby bird!
I spoke my disappointment to Gabi, picked her up and carried her outside. I put her down after telling her grandpa what she had done and went back inside. I wrapped up the bird in a bag and put it in the outside trash. I thought about burying it, but I was scared Gabi would dig it up.
It was quite the interesting weekend. Yes, at times I do get frustrated with Gabi, but I just love my sweet little iggy too much to ever give up on her.
It was Human Rights Day in South Africa today, which means a public holiday for the humans. To a dog public holidays don’t mean much, except that all the humans are home. We didn’t really go for a walk today, but we did tag along with my parents (Ouma & Oupa to Gabi), to the nursery. Gabi seemed to love walking around and sniffing all the plants. We also played some catch on the lawn. When we went to get Asian take-aways, Gabi and “Grandpa” waited for me in the car. I gave Gabi a bit of my rice in peanut-butter sauce and her grandma insisted I give her some left over braai wors (BBQ sausage). What a spoiled little Iggy she is.