This February half term was our puppy's first holiday. It's fair to say I was a little apprehensive!
We'd booked our holiday cottage in Wales way back before Delilah arrived, but luckily we knew it was dog friendly so we just had to pay a small supplement.
Our old dog had always loved staying at Ty n Simmde and exploring the Welsh countryside, but how was a delinquent pup going to react?
The first challenge was the journey. It's a good 4 1/2 hour drive from our house and Delilah had never travelled that far. Her brother who lives with my mother-in-law gets terrible car sickness even on short journeys, so just in case we packed lots of wipes and towels to clean up, and factored in lots of pit-stops.
We needn't have worried. She travelled beautifully. She nested down in my footwell on her blanket, and pretty much slept for the whole journey, with a few quick wee stops at service stations along the way.
We'd taken her dog crate to sleep in, along with her bed and some toys to make her feel at home, and she settled into the cottage right away. I knew they kept some old blankets stashed away, so we covered the sofas
in case for when she inevitably jumped up on them. The one thing we were missing was a stair gate to prevent her marauding around on the beds upstairs!
Delilah loves to chase and/or chew everything she sees. So her days were pretty much leaf, leaf, leaf, stone, stick, leaf, stone, leaf, leaf, snooze and repeat.... She had an absolute ball!
There was one whimper-inducing moment when an errant sheep from the next farm wandered into our garden and she shot inside with her tail between her legs, but other than that, it was all good.
She coped remarkably well with all the walking, we sometimes forget she's only 6 months old, so shouldn't really be going on massive hikes as her little hips are still developing, but with lots of breaks, she was grand.
The beach was a revelation to her. She spent ages chasing the little bubbles of foam that washed up the shore from the sea, and drank a fair bit of salty sea-water from the rock pools (crazy animal).
We were optimistic that Delilah would be a swimmer like Ella was, but she wasn't keen on the cold water. We need to work on that.
Snowdonia is well geared for welcoming dogs, and she behaved beautifully in every cafe and restaurant we visited, curling up under the table and going to sleep. The only place she wasn't allowed was on the canal boat trip we did, so she got an extra long and rainy towpath walk instead!
If anything, she behaved better on holiday than she does at home. To be honest she can be a bit of a handful still, chewing and jumping up. I guess she got a lot more mental stimulation than she does on a normal day stuck at home with me while I'm working. I must make more of an effort to take her out and do stuff during the week, and not just her normal two walks around the block.
I really do think it was a great adventure for her, and we can't wait to take her back at Easter. I'm so glad she enjoys the great outdoors like we do.