Looking at lots of Vans

I‘ve been on holiday in my van with my humans. We went to a place called Devon and did lots of walking. Across fields and on paths near the sea, up hills, down hills, up more hills, on beaches…..it was great going but I wasn’t the only one who was tired at the end of the walks. They were tired too and sometimes it seemed to take ages to get back to my van for a rest and a snooze and some chill out time.

One day we went to a place where there were lots of vans, just like mine. We were there for a long time, getting in and out of vans, looking at them, opening cupboards, rolling out the bed and lying on it (well, I didn’t lie on it, they did). It took ages and there was a whole lot of chat and talk going on too.

I don’t really know what it was all about because every one of  the vans looked pretty good to me, and I settled down in each one we went in straight away, either in the place between the seats where I travel, or at the door. It’s a good lookout position and I can check out everything that’s going on.

Well, not much did go on for a while then all of a sudden, we changed vans (again!) and went for a drive in one of them. We didn’t go very far and when we stopped I thought we’d be somewhere different. But no – we were back at the place with all the vans again. I must confess I was a bit puzzled, but everyone was friendly to me and I said one of my special “hello’s”  to the person they were talking to who seemed to know all about the vans.

At last we set off somewhere else in my van, and left all the other vans where they were.

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We went to a beach and yes! I got to run on it and I even paddled in one of the big pools with rocks in it. That was delicious!

Hmmmm….then a few days later (after more walks and beaches and so on) we went back to the van place again. This time we had aother ride in another van, and we weren’t there for quite so long. But there seemed to a bit of choosing of colours and floor coverings and things. Sounded like we were probably going to get a new van because they even fetched my bed from my van to see if it fitted in ok.

Frankly, it was all a bit boring but I snoozed my way through it as I’d been there before, then we set off for home. If they do get another van I know it will be almost like my current one, and it will obviously be mine because it will feel like home, even if it is new.

Beach bum

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Life has been great just lately as I’ve been on lots of beaches.

First of all we had a day out in my campervan (that was before we were allowed to stay away from home in this lockdown thing) and we went to a beach. There were a lot of statues of the same person scattered about on the beach and I went to take a closer look – and sniff – at some of them, and I had a race across the sand with my human who does “School” games with me.

Then, oh bliss, a couple of weeks later we went away in my van for two nights. The campsites were open again and people could take their vans and sleep in them and have a proper few days away without having to go home. We went to a place called Wirral (sounds like “squirrel” but I didn’t see any). I’d noticed my bed was waiting in the hall to be packed so I knew we were going to stay in my van – at long last!P1080844

We had walks in the country park nearby, and on the beaches. I loved it as I met other dogs, and I found plenty of interesting things to sniff and explore and all the while I had that exciting feeling of sand between my pads.

Now we’re back at home and all I keep thinking is “When can we go again….?” Please…

That Dordoggy Place

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Thought I’d write (through the usual telepathic channel with the human who feeds me) about a place I’ve been to twice now, since I got my pet passport and was allowed to go abroad in my van with my owners. My van was driven on to a train (don’t know what that is) but when they drove the van off the train I noticed it all smelt a bit different somehow. We weren’t where we ususally live, we were in France.

I did have a great time there on holiday. I was still a young pup, 8 months old, so it was all a bit new. We went there again last year, on a train (again), and after we’d travelled around a bit we ended up at the same campsite we’d been to last time.

It was in a place called the Dordoggy. I’m sure it’s called that. It’s such a great place where we stay, perfect for dogs – near the river where there are great walks, near the hills where there are great walks in the woods – and my humans seem quite happy to stay there for a bit and do nothing much. They seem to lounge around, and eat and drink that wine stuff and swim and read books and generally have a nice relaxing time.

P1060194But I have no idea why it’s called Dordoggy. Would that be because there are other dogs there and all of them are friendly? I met two HUGE dogs one day when we walked by the river. They were Dogues de Bordeaux, with crinkly folded up faces, and they were very friendly and gentle even though they towered over me. And on a walk in the hills I met a friendly local dog called Luna, who  trotted along beside me all the way back to the campsite.

But why is this place called the Dordoggy?

Editor’s note: As the one who telepathically channels the thoughts of Bosworth, I can answer that question. When I was teaching, working with a class doing geography, they worked in small groups using a map of France to find the names of as many rivers as they could. One boy asked,  “Miss, what’s this Dordoggy place?” and the name has just stuck on our household.

Campervan dreaming

P1034487I’ve already written something about how different everything is at home right now – ever since my humans came back early from visiting the family in Houston – and although they’ve been back nearly three weeks, I’ve noticed that:

1) we don’t go out in the car (not my favourite mode of transport I have to say) but there it sits on the drive.

2) we don’t go out in the ‘van, which they think is theirs, but it’s actually mine, and it’s by far my preferred mode of transport, because it takes me on holiday to lots of new and interesting places. Yet there it sits on the drive as well.

So I’m going to indulge in a spot of campervan dreaming and reminiscing while I sniff around the garden, sit in the sunshine, and have the odd snooze before my one big walk of the day.

We went to a place called Aachen during our big holiday last year. It’s in Germany and there was a distinct smell of delicious sausages in the air. Nice. We left my van on the campsite and got the bus into the town, but that wasn’t nice at all. I’ve been on a few buses before but this one was hot and crowded and I had to sit on the lap of the human who feeds me. The other human had to stand as there were no spare seats.

When we got off we started to walk towards the cathedral (my humans like visiting these wherever we go). As we walked towards it there was the most almighty revolting STINK of bad eggs. I sneezed and twitched and tried to get away from it; it was driving me crazy it was so nasty. I didn’t know that Aachen had natural springs with healing waters. Healing? Puke-making more like for dogs!

We reached the cathedral but it was a “no dogs” place so my humans took it in turns to go in and stay with me. That wasn’t too bad though because I met another Norfolk terrier – a German-speaking one – but we managed to communicate using our noses. Then we walked around the town looking at some of the many fountains and statues there. Thankfully the water in the fountains didn’t stink and I was quite interested in one of these in particular.

And we walked back to my van at the campsite rather than get on the bus again. I was rather pleased about that because there were lots of new smells along the way so all in all it was a good day out, and something cheerful to remember.

A dog’s eyeview

P1034807Ok, so this isn’t the best of pics and I’m not even sure if this is my best side, but it gives a good idea of what I see when I’m happily travelling in my campervan with my humans. It’s a bit messy really with newspaper on the floor and boots, but it was muddy where we were and I was told quite firmly to stay until my paws had dried off a bit.

You see, we had a short holiday in the really wet and horrible weather, but there were mostly dry days with lots of rain overnight. That meant I got wet every time I went out even if it wasn’t raining, because the ground was soggy, I’ve got rather short legs, and my underbelly gets muddy too. But the humans have a thing they call a doggybag and they zip me into it when I’m wet and I come out mostly dry. All the grit and dirt and muck fall off into the doggybag and once I got used to it, I really didn’t mind having to sit still in it, or lie down it, because I was clean and nearly dry when I got out.

When we’re in my campervan this all works quite well, especially as I get a few treats while I’m drying.

What’s interesting here though is what I can see in the van. That one down at the end, with her back turned, is getting food ready. That’s where the cooking goes on, but it might be food for me too, and my food is kept in one of those cupboards. So I’m staying put as told, and drying off. And hoping for food……

Winter camping

I went away recently with my two humans, for a few days in my motorhome. Camping at this time of year – February, wet, stormy, windy – is perhaps not the best but it’s sometimes good to get away and see new places. Or in my case, smell new smells. And the van is one of my most favourite places to be.

We stayed in a place called Rutland, on a campsite which had plenty of space to walk around and it had a dog walk too, in a wood. But it was muddy, very muddy, and every time we went out I had to go through that rubbing and cleaning of my paws when we came back in.

We went to a place they called Rutland Water to look at birds. Boy was it muddy there! I couldn’t go into part of it as it wasn’t dog-friendly, but there is another place in the bird reseve that is OK for dogs. We didn’t go there because my humans had enough of the mud they had to walk through to get to the bird hides. I stayed in my van, in the warm, and they walked me around the parking area and along the road nearby. Needless to say, it was wet and muddy. I think I came off best when I saw what was on their walking boots!

We went to a town called Oakham, which was very dog-friendly. I was welcomed into the Castle area and the old building which was a sort of museum with masses of horseshoes all over the walls.

The best bit of the winter camping trip was a visit to a huge country park with a massive posh house. It was called Burleigh House but it was closed (there were signs saying No Dogs so I couldn’t go in anyway) and we walked in the grounds. It was very windy and cold and I wore my fleece onesie, which keeps me dry and warm and clean.

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That ditch ha-ha thing & me in my onesie

We walked past the big house which had a ditch thing all around it. My humans said it was a ha-ha. I thought they were laughing or something.

We also went to the nearby big town called Stamford, which my humans seemed to like quite a lot. I suppose it was quite a nice place as I was allowed to go in everywhere. There are several churches there which I could go in as they were dog-friendly too.

What a difference it makes to find so many dog-friendly places to go to when we visit somewhere new in my van.

Dog friendly?

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAOk, so this isn’t me (Bosworth, Norfolk terrier) in the picture. It’s another dog who was my predecessor: Calan, a Scottish terrier. I know my humans must have loved him as much as they love me as there’s a couple of photos knocking around and they sometimes speak of him. But that’s not the point as this is about dog friendly places and it looks as if this place – the Hartland Quay Hotel in Devon – was not especially dog friendly.

From the photo, it appears that quite a lot of dogs have expressed their feelings about the sign as it’s gone very rusty round about the place where dogs, such as myself, would cock our legs and pee. Only to mark it, mind, as that’s what we do.

Seriously though, dog-friendliness has got a lot better over the past few years (I overheard my humans talking about this), so now when we all go out, I can mostly go into the places that they do. Some shops welcome dogs and have a funny sign saying things like “Dogs welcome, well behaved humans tolerated”.

Some shops have a simple sign on the door which says it straight: “Dogs Welcome” and that’s what we like to see. Same applies with cafes and restaurants – a sign in the window, a blackboard outside welcoming us pooches is good to see. At the weekend I went, with my humans and their friends who’d come to visit, to a local brasserie-style restaurant. They’ve started to welcome dogs and let this be known on a blackboard outside the door.

It was especially nice because the waiter brought me a bowl of water, placed on a serviette, on the floor. Once I’d had the few treats my humans had brought for me, I settled down under the table while they ate and talked, and then had some of that beautifully served water when I was thirsty. I behaved perfectly too, just like I’ve been encouraged to when we’re out.

One or two very good dog friendly cafes I’ve been to either have home made dog treats for sale along with the cake things the humans eat, or they bring treats to the table, for free. Free treats! Doggy heaven – well, possibly owner heaven too if they’re free. There’s a great cafe in Conwy where this happens.

Some pubs and cafes and restaurants are still not welcoming dogs, so we don’t go to those. These can be a bit annoying. We found a place in Combe Martin in Devon which didn’t have a “No Dogs” sign anywhere in sight, but when we went to go inside, they told us no, we couldn’t.

Aren’t some people funny? My humans were shouted at for taking me into a local charity shop when they were donating goods. There was a washed out “Assistant dogs only” sign on the door which  they couldn’t see because the door was wide open, supposedly inviting people in. But when we stayed in York, and they went looking around the shops, several shop owners smiled and invited us all in, saying they liked dogs.

A couple of useful websites with info on dog-friendly places, covering UK locations:

Dog-friendly pubs 

Dog-friendly beaches

And here’s my human’s viewpoint on dog-friendliness

Sunny, frosty Southport

We went to Southport me aP1080297nd my humans, in my campervan, and stayed overnight on a campsite we’ve been to before. It was sunny and cold, with this chilly white stuff they call frost covering the grass in the morning. The puddles were all hard with ice but it didn’t stop me from enjoying walks and exploring a very nice park with a big lake.

There were ducks and pigeons, and as I’ve recently got ino bird watching I sat still and watched a crowd of these feeding on food put down for them by someone. I’d have loved to have got closer to them, especially the pigeons as I see these in my garden, but I was held quite firmly on my lead and couldn’t budge.

The park (it was the Botanic Gardens – Ed) was dog-friendly and there were notices showing where dogs had to be on leads. In some parts – the wilder rougher parts, which I liked – dogs were allowed off leads.

The humans seemed to like this place quite a lot so here are a couple of photos of it in the sunshine. But blimey, it was a bit chilly though.

Going birdwatching

In my last post I talked about watching birds in the garden, quite an absorbing activity in itself. I have to sit very still, then if one of them flies over me, or lands on the ground, I rush after it. They always get away.

But we went proper birdwatching yesterday, me and my humans. We went to a place called Parkgate, on the Dee estuary and close to somewhere called Wales. You could see big hills in the distance. It was called a raptor watch, which I suppose means you watch out for raptors. I didn’t have a clue what raptors were, but I heard people talking about an owl, which was flying about. Everyone got those funny binocular things up to their faces to watch it, and lots of people were smiling.

They all got excited again when somneone said there was a hen harrier flying along in the distance, I couldn’t see a thing, but it seems they saw a male and a female hen harrier. The human who feeds me was quite excited when she had a good view of the female, and she spotted the male before some of the other people did, and told them where to look.

It was all a bit over my head (like the birds…) so I hung about watching the bird watchers and eyeing another terrier there who was also on a lead. We had a bit of a brief bark off then pretended not to notice each other. It was cold as the sun went down so we had a brisk walk back to my motorvan, which we’d travelled there in. I had a drink and some treats then we all came home.

RSPB Burton Mere organise a monthly raptor watch at the Old Baths area at Parkgate, near Neston on the Wirral.

My bookshop?

P1050965When I was taken on my first big holiday in my campervan by my two humans, we went to a place called Wales. There were hills and mountains, rivers, streams, and big lake things called reservoirs. Best of all, there were lots of walks. Some of them were quite difficult, steep and stony, but I managed alright. When I couldn’t, I was carried for a while, as I was still quite young.

We went to small towns, with lots of friendly people who made a fuss of me because I looked cute (well, that’s what they said – I wasn’t sure whether or not it was good to look cute, but it seemed to work).

One of the towns we visited was called Hay-on-Wye (funny name) and it had masses of book shops, which my humans seemed to like going into, then standing around just looking at the shelves where the books were. Sometimes they’d get hold of a book and look inside it, then put it back on the shelf. Seemed a bit boring to me, but I sat still and watched what the other people in the shop were doing. It was the same kind of thing.

As we walked around the town, going into book shop after book shop, the human who feeds me pointed to a sign outside one of the shops, got her camera and took a photo of it. She seemed really excited because the sign had MY NAME on it! Boz!

Well, when I thought about it, it was rather impressive to find a book shop named after me, especially as I’d never been to Hay-on-Wye before. Then she started babbling on about my name. You see, Boz is the shortened version of Bosworth, but it apparently it  happens to be the pen name used by Charles Dickens who was some famous author I think. Or at least someone who wrote books. So I suppose it was a good idea to use my name for a book shop. I liked it anyway.

Ediorial note:

Dickens was first a freelance journalist, becoming a parliamentary commentator in 1833. He wrote serialised sketches in periodicals which were published under the title “Sketches by Boz” in 1836. The year 1836 was a significant one for Dickens. He married Caroline, daughter of George Hogarth, editor of the Evening Chronicle, and publisher of “Sketches by Boz”, and his first novel, “The Pickwick Papers”, was published.