So we have returned from our holiday in the Lake District.
Following on from our ‘Holidays with Hounds’ blog I am pleased to be able to report the cottage did indeed have a fully enclosed area where the dogs could mooch without having to be supervised, which was a positive. Other positives include the lovely location, it was spacious, warm and the kitchen was well equipped.
Now for the negatives: the mattresses were extremely uncomfortable as were the sofas. The property had some cleanliness issues (more cobwebs than you would expect to find in spider-man’s house), a bit of a fly problem, scorching hot water from some of the taps, a lack of working lightbulbs, there was no ‘welcome pack’ i.e. a bottle of milk in the fridge. The property needs some serious TLC, which previous guests had commented upon; however unfortunately these comments have not been taken on board, which means our hunt for the perfect holiday cottage continues.
Clearly, the issues with our accommodation did nothing to affect the spaniels’ enjoyment of their holiday.
The weather was surprisingly dry and warm 5 days in the Lake District with no rain is usually unheard of. This of course didn’t mean the dogs stayed dry!
It was great spending the days with them. They are all getting on a bit now, but when you see them out and about you would find it hard to believe they are 7, 9 and 9 years old. On several occasions they gained themselves an audience of holidaymakers who would stop, chat and even take photos. Everyone took it in good humour when the dogs shook water all over them – perhaps because they were dressed in waterproofs in anticipation of the Lake District rain, despite the sunshine.
Being dog owners is a great way of getting out in the fresh air, whatever the weather and also for meeting people. People often strike up conversations with us as they seem to really enjoy watching dogs have fun. Buster’s enthusiastic way of launching himself into water is a particular crowd pleaser!
When we take them into dog friendly pubs and cafes people always chat to us about the dogs, which has previously led to local people sharing places to visit that we would not have otherwise known about. We have walked into a pub before now and found it difficult to find room to accommodate us and the 3 spaniels and complete strangers have offered to move to make room for us to sit. There is definitely a degree of camaraderie amongst dog owners and it is great to be part of that ‘pack’! People who don’t mind the smell of wet dog whilst they enjoy their pint or who are happy to share their own dog’s water bowl with our three and are not put off by Daisy ogling the food on their plate are definitely pack members!
Our holiday wasn’t just about walking the dogs, mid-morning tea and cake and pub lunches. I also managed to get in a bit of shopping time. Both Buster and I were treated to new boots – mine are new dog walking boots for the winter and Buster’s are to make his walks more comfortable as he struggles on some surfaces due to his missing toe.
Now that the holiday is over I am already thinking about next year’s holiday and the disappointing holiday cottage has reinforced my plan to hire a motorhome and head for Northumberland and Scotland. Quite how that will pan out with 3 spaniels on board remains to be seen.
Maybe we should get 3 of these…