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.
SATURDAY 21 APRIL
Gabi stayed at home while I went with my parents to visit my grandma, who turned 84, out of town. When we got there Grandma asked where Gabi was. Didn’t see any damage when we got back so Gabi was given treat. I planned on taking her to the park, but we ended up napping on the couch. I was wiped out from the car trip.
Went to my brother’s for lunch (his birthday was also Saturday) and Gabi went with this time. She was well behaved and after some time running around and exploring, she lied down on her mat. Gabi and I walked home, though this doesn’t far because my brother lives in our neighbourhood. Again I planned going to the park, but we took a nap because I was sleepy from the wine.
MON – WED
There were a lot of rainy days which meant staying in and short walks on Monday and Tuesday, when we could. My mom and I tried to clip Gabi’s nails, but we only clipped a few because she seemed freaked out. I think I cut the one a bit close to the life. I had a few errands to run and Gabi couldn’t go with me. On Wednesday I took her to the spruitjie (creek). On the way home I tried securing her on the front seat, but she had too much slack and almost managed to climb to the back. She did manage to climb on my lap, which kind of defeats the purpose of the seat belt attachment.
I made a cottage cheese tart (basically a cheese cake) on Tuesday evening and gave Gabi the empty cottage cheese container to lick out. She absolutely loved it.
TODAY Today we went to the spruitjie again. Gabi was very good in the Car. She had a blast running off-leash. Running into bushes, running up and down slopes, sniffing, smelling and exploring.
Tomorrow is Freedom Day, a South African national holiday, which makes it a long weekend. Tuesday is Worker’s Day and with many people taking leave, which makes it a super long weekend. Gabi and I will probably go on a dog walk with some friends.
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.