Update

Sorry for the lack of updates! The weather here has been pretty much awful, it’s been very cold, windy and pretty much pouring all the time. Thus we haven’t really done much exploring and pictures taken in the rain don’t usually turn out that nice. 

We have however done a midnight walk to the Heidelberg Castle (unfortunately as it was slightly spontaneous, didn’t have a camera along to capture all the amazing lights etc.), which was lovely. Funnily enough Afri was slightly nervous when we got there, I guess she has as much of an overactive imagination as I do haha.

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Africa has settled in great, yesterday I realized that she has now been here for 1.5 months! Crazy how time flies by!  We haven’t been able to yet discover proper doggy friends for her. Hopefully when the weather gets nice again (it should do that starting Monday), more dogs will be out running in the fields meaning Afri has someone to play with 🙂 

Next week my sister will be coming to visit for almost a week and we will be doing some exploration around Heidelberg with Afri 🙂 Yesterday I visited a friend (without Afri) in Edingen-Neckarhausen, a small town situated between Heidelberg and Mannheim. I didn’t see much of it, so we’ll be going there for a bit of exploring. 

Here’s a list of some of the towns on our to visit-list:

*Leimen

*Weinheim (proper exploration of the castle ruins)

*Schriesheim

*Edingen-Neckarhausen

*Schwetzingen

*Walldorf

*Neckargemünd

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Maimarketting

ImageEach year, the nearby city of Mannheim hosts Maimarkt, which is basically a market where you have different sorts of things for sale ranging from jewelry to houses plus activities and shows. It also hosts a relatively large showjumping competition, which has been going on since 1964! The market itself is not too young either, this year it celebrated its 400th (!!!) Birthday! Pretty cool, huh? 

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This year it was held from the 27th of April until the 7th of May. Since the weather was pretty much perfect yesterday (+22 C and a whole lotta sunshine!) and a friend happened to have 2 tickets, me and Afri accompanied her to the market.

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The market had many tents with different themes ranging from wellness to animals. The animal tent was particularly something we were very interested in. Unfortunately all those rabbits and birds made Afri very excited, a little bit too excited, as I had to drag her out of that tent. As she is so used to horses, she didn’t really notice them, but man, those rabbits! 

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Africa likes rabbits a lot, but mainly in the whole chasing aspect kind of way. 🙂 We watched parts of the riding competition and saw some great rounds! Tickets for the competition’s stadium were sold seperately (which we unfortunately at that point didn’t know), but a very kind lady came over to us and gave us 2 tickets so that we were able to go into the proper stadium with seats and some shade. Afri is also very interested in watching although whenever a competition’s Lap of Victory is done, she gets really nervous and starts whining and pulling on the leash towards the galloping horses. 🙂

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It was a rather long day, and after we got home, Afri fell fast asleep after her evening food snoring rather loud. One of the problems we had was finding water (!!), or well, the non bubbly sort. I had a bottle with me, but obviously the weather being all superwarm, it ran out rather quickly. Luckily we were able to find a indoor cafe where we were able to get water straight from the tap. Afri often doesn’t drink enough, but because of the weather, she seemed to understand that dehydration was definitely not what she needed.Image

The pictures I posted on this entry are actually from the Neckarwiese in Heidelberg, because I haven’t yet uploaded and resized all the market pictures. Will do a photo post in the upcoming days 🙂 

Weinheim

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                                                   Townsquare in Weinheim

 

What do we love about Germany? There are so many cute little towns around the bigger cities worth exploring! Weinheim is one approximately 19 km from Heidelberg and has not just one but two castles! A friend lives in Weinheim and since I had never properly visited it, thought it was about time plus we had our own personal tour guide. Unfortunately on this little trip we didn’t get to see them, but the next time we are there, the castles are definitely on our must-see list as I am a bit of castle addict!

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                                                                    Rathaus 

We got to see a little bit of the Oldtown as well as the Schlosspark, where Afri got to run around off leash and play fetch. The weather was warm and beautiful, the grass ultragreen and we were having a great time chilling in the park. Oh and we even managed to see another Hovvie in the park! How fun! 

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Since the weather was so great, we decided to stop by for an ice cream, doesn’t this look just soooo incredibly yummy?

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Weinheim has a small movie theater and we thought that it’d be nice to go and see the latest Scary Movie (I am a fan, don’t judge :D). They had no problems whatsoever letting dogs in (“if she’s quiet and doesn’t disturb anyone, you are welcome to take her along”), which was quite surprising. The movie theater was quite spacious and Afri was happily dozing off after the day’s long walk and run.  Image

 

                                                       Schlosspark

Many are probably wondering how on earth they allowed dogs in the movies. No surprise, so did I! But the great thing about Germany, is the fact that it’s veryvery dogfriendly. Dogs are allowed almost everywhere minus grocery stores. It’s actually quite funny if you think about it, since Germany is worldwide known as being this rather strict and orderly sort of country, but regarding dogs, they are rather chill.  Image

But it is always good and polite to ask first before bringing the dog to more “unusual” places. But generally, we’ve been told that if your dog is well behaved, you can basically take them everywhere.:)

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                                                                      Mmm stick!

Another post on Weinheim will be done once we go back! Therefore, sorry for the lack of pictures!

That Thing Called Spring

Last weekend we were supposed to do a bit of small travelling around to the nearby cities of Mannheim and Schwetzingen. Unfortunately, the weather decided to be not on our side and walking in the rain was neither mine nor Africa’s idea of fun. 

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                                                Whose foot could that be?

Also this thing called late spring has also kept us from enjoying everything to the fullest as unfortunately, yours truly has a case of rather horrible spring allergies. I’m not exactly sure what exactly I’m allergic to. General hayfever I guess, as it always comes at this time of the year. Last year I managed to avoid it, as allergy season in Germany is at a different time than in Finland. This year, spring decided to be late here as well, so guess who must suffer?

This weekend we may be going to Ludwigsburg for a bit of daytripping to see the castle  and general wandering about. It all depends on the weather and whether or not we’ll be having a doggy visitor for the weekend. If we’re having a visitor, then we’ll be doing a bit Heidelberg touring. 

Afri has settled in great! We were also told of a so-called “dog field” by the Neckar-river where we’ve been going lately to see if there’d be new doggy friends for Afri 🙂 The great thing about it, is the fact that it’s the one place on the Neckar field where dogs are allowed to be kept offleash without having to worry about getting fined. Afri has loved it so far!

 

Alive! And Kicking

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Just arrived in the harbor of Stockholm, Sweden and waiting for the bus

Sorry for the extreme lack of updates as of recent. Our trip to Germany was rather exhausting and then as an added bonus, my internet decided to stop working. Thankfully that’s all good now!

First of all WE MADE IT! The trip was long and frustrating at times (things did not go entirely according to plan… More on that later), but in the end, we managed 🙂 I am so extremely grateful for having travelled with Afri so much 2 years earlier; despite this trip being about 30 h longer than our old ones (Helsinki-Tartu), she managed it so well! 

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                          In Heidelberg enjoying the forest in the warm weather

On the ferry I managed to write a small blog entry which I saved on my computer. I wanted to publish it whilst we were on the ship, but the internet connection was rather bad and everything was taking ages to load. Thus I thought it’d be better that I’d post it here later (as in now).

Africa has settled in great, she seems to have been a little surprised by the warm weather (Helsinki -5 C, Heidelberg +22 C). Her tummy’s been good and she’s been coming with me almost everywhere.

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The great thing about keeping a dog in Germany, is the fact that you can pretty much take them anywhere. I went for lunch with a friend on the weekend and Afri accompanied us. About 10 minutes away from our place is a mountain (the Germans always laugh when I call the “hills” of Heidelberg mountains, as they are apparently so “small”.) which has really nice paths to the forest plus Afri has the chance to be off leash.

Soon we’ll be making our way towards the center for a nice evening ice cream and walk. Toodles!

 

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Be Sure to Always Check Your Tickets

Yesterday I booked our ferry tickets to Stockholm. We will be arriving in Heidelberg a little earlier as I had made a bit of a mistake with the date on the train ticket… Nothing dramatic, I had just booked it 1 day earlier than planned. So now I booked the ship also a day earlier.  

Thankfully I checked, it would’ve been oh so uncool to arrive on Thursday morning in Stockholm, realize our train isn’t there and then discover that it left the day before… So, always remember to check ticket dates very carefully!

Today I bought Afri some stuff from the petstore; 2 leashes (I really don’t like her current one. It’s very heavy and chunky.), 3 new toys and a sort of “grooming kit”. Medium thin leather leashes are my favorite because they are very comfortable in your hand plus durable. Afri needs to desperately have her nails clipped before the trip, as at the moment she has these killer talons. 

Her stomach has calmed down again, I’m really hoping it wont start acting up again before or during the trip.

 

 

Tricks Ideas

Hovawarts aren’t necessarily the most prone to please sort of breed. Thus motivating them may in some cases be extremely difficult because you need to be very motivating and unbelievably patient. I’m always looking for ideas for new tricks and things I can teach Afri, so here I’ve listed a few videos I found on Youtube for ideas. Afri enjoys learning when the whole learning phase is sort of chopped into little simple pieces. Hovawarts are extremely impatient and prone to get bored whilst learning, Afri is no exception. However she does enjoy learning when it is made fun and includes lots of treats ;)! 

The other thing that I have also noticed that it is good to train new things 15 min maximum so she wont have time to get bored. Also it is important to go back to the easy “safe” tricks she already knows; keeps up the motivation! I personally enjoy teaching tricks, especially the part when the dog “gets it”. It’s like a light bulb switches on above their heads and they’re thinking, “Aha! Now I get it!”. 

 

A few months ago I taught Afri to roll over, which she loves doing! Spinning is something we’re working on at the moment and the next thing on my “to-teach-list” is this: 

 

 

Easy and fun, just what Afri likes 🙂 Here are some other videos for inspiration

This was a trick I tried teaching Afri, but unfortunately the tape didn’t work out for us. She didn’t care that there was piece of tape on her muzzle and just happily dozed off. Need to think of an alternative for the tape.