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Zack on Tour - Diary of a Dog (Part II)

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Dr Louise Curtis BVetMed MRCVS veterinary-nurses, Veterinary Surgeon

Dear Diary,

I finally found some time to fill you in! A lot has happened since I wrote to you last. Firstly, I can confirm the safety of myself and both my humans, although it has been a little touch and go at times. They do like to wander off. It’s a good job I make them hold my lead in busy places. Secondly, I can confirm we are still travelling around in our house on wheels. This is the longest holiday ever. In fact I am starting to think that perhaps this is our life now. I have been battling with mixed feels about this. As any fellow pooch knows, our species really only have 3 emotions – scared, happy or extremely happy. I have been battling with all three. As you can imagine, this is quite tiring and so I have had to have some extra snoozes to help cope with the turmoil. The humans have been very understanding. In fact so much so, I have often noticed them sympathetically snoozing with me.

We have been doing a whole lot more than just snoozing though. I want to tell you about everywhere we’ve been but I don’t think I have the attention span. So instead, I have borrowed an idea from my humans. They often read reviews about places to decide if we should go there or not. Personally, I like to sniff it for myself but we can’t all be the same. That would be boring. So, being the well-travelled pooch that I am, I will turn my hand to reviewing my top picks for pooch travellers:

FRANCE

France seems like a muddled country. In one day of touring, we went for a sunny swim on the beach to a steep walk through the snow. If you like variety for your walkies, this is the country for you. The French cuisine is ideal for any pooch who is not watching their waistline. Cheese and meat can be found in copious quantities. The French humans seem to like dogs, often petting me whilst I’m on my best behaviour outside shops. One lady even gave me biscuits. Unfortunately, she was not well trained and she kept pulling the biscuits away just as I got my nose to it. We caused quite a scene in the street, me jumping to take the biscuit offered and her squealing and pulling her hand away with said biscuit. In the end Mum had to demonstrate the polite way to offer a pooch food. Regarding this incident, France is perhaps not the place for dogs that get frustrated by poorly trained humans.

BELGIUM

Belgium provided a very novel experience for me. A new landscape and territory to explore - the caves. The damp and dark provides for some interesting sniffs. The big question is why do the humans take hundreds of photos when a good sniff would cover it? Visitors should be warned that you are subjected to a very loud noise at the end, a cannon. Even with Mum’s clamped hands over my ears, it was uncomfortably loud. Good luck apparently. Well if I were a cat, I’d be a life down. Pleasingly, the sea is available in Belgium. I know because I swam in it. Less food offered but would overall recommend a visit.

LUXEMBOURG

If you are an active pooch who loves their walkies, Luxembourg is the country for you! During our short visit, we went on two long walkies. Both involved rock climbing and swimming to an advanced level. No problem for an athlete like myself but not for beginners.

THE NETHERLANDS

I would highly recommend the Netherlands to pooches of all types. Even the least well trained of noses will appreciate the vast variety of sniffs this country has to offer. I went with my humans to a massive garden of flowers called tulips. Prepare for your sniff sense to be overwhelmed by these pongy plants. I also had a chance to thoroughly explore the city of Amsterdam, through something I think the humans referred to as a ‘walkies tour’. If you have the patience to allow your humans to stop every few minutes to talk with a bunch of strange humans, you’ll be rewarded with lots of attention and sniffing opportunities.  Just watch out for the fast moving, two-wheeled contraptions the humans call bikes. There are thousands of them and they’re everywhere – they stop for nothing, not even me. I honestly don’t think they know who I am, how embarrassing for them! Also to note, plenty of ‘street food’ and water for swimming opportunities.

GERMANY

My review of Germany is limited due to my busy time schedule, I hope I give it a fair representation. This country offers us pooches a range of outdoor activities including swimming around lakes (just avoid the expensive boats, the strange humans get a bit touchy if you try to climb on them), running in woods and sun bathing. If you’re a black dog like myself, you will need to take extra care to ration your sunbathing time so you don’t overheat and start feeling ill (not speaking from experience of course, I am far too intelligent to do that... cough, cough).

I hope you all found that useful. It’s been hard narrowing down my favourites and I am far too busy to provide you with my expert opinion on all the countries I’ve been to. Also, I’ve remembered, I promised you I’d tell you about my birthday. The good news is the humans didn’t forget. I opened a birthday card (I can’t read it but I do enjoy tearing open an envelope) and had a big meat bone to myself. I even got a burger from the BBQ, which my clever humans pretended to drop accidently. The bad news is the tasty burger was beef. Mum says I am intolerant to beef. I won’t go into the gory details but there was a fair bit of asking to go outside through the night and I wasn’t allowed breakfast in the morning… Luckily I made a quick recovery and was back to normal eating procedures by the next day. Phew!

Talking of food, it’s nearly dinner time. I have more stories for you but right now, I need to go and harass the humans. I’ll be sure to write again soon.

Zack

 
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