Have Dog, will Travel

You will have noticed the absence of my blog over the past few months. Sorry about that! Having a little dog to look after and working on the novel-writing course via Jericho Writers has taken over my life (and writing) to a great extent. Happy to say I have completed the first draft of my novel, ‘Born to Race’! More to follow on that later.

Fortunately, this summer we have managed to get in some house-sitting adventures in England in July. Started off our house-sitting adventures in Somerset and then moved over to Wiltshire.

Tuppence took travelling in her diminutive stride and settled in pretty quickly to our house-sit homes and chumming up with the resident pets. She has acquired many new canine and human fans in England! She was very happy to see my sister and brother-in-law Christine and Colin Hardinge who bred her. Definitely remembered them, and gave a well-tuned howl of joy when they stepped out of their car when we met at the Locksbridge Inn for lunch in Bath.

I realised that there is a lot involved in taking your own dog on a house-sit or on any kind of visit so I thought why not share my experiences with you?

Tips for house-sitting/visiting/holidaying with your own dog

Before Leaving

  • Always inform your home-owner you’re bringing your own pet.
  • Get as much information as you can about the HO’s pet beforehand. Age, breed, temperament, energy levels, socialisation, etc and estimate how well they match your own pet. Ask about house rules regarding pets allowed on furniture, upstairs, on beds etc and adjust to owner’s rules.
  • Check your destination country’s entry requirements. UK requires a valid EU passport, chipped pet and tapeworm treatment signed off by a vet prior to travel.
  • Include plenty of pet’s own toys and baskets and bowls in packing list. Amazon offer amongst others, the Teamoy Travel Bag where you can pack everything for the urbane canine.
  • Rescue Remedy for dogs may help pet anxiety around travel, change of scenery etc. I bought mine at Holland & Barrett.
  • If booking a cabin on a ferry opt for a pet-friendly one. (Stena line from Hoek of Holland to Harwich offer this option.) You can also eat in your cabin if your pet is young and needs your presence as reassurance.
  • Ask a crew member to show you where the ‘exercise’ zone is for pets. I defy anyone over the age of 40 to read the floor plan we were given on Stena Britannica.
  • Make sure that collar tags have the international prefix for telephone number printed on them.

  • On arrival
  • Introduce the pets outside in the garden first.
  • Only leave them alone together when you are sure that a level of trust has been achieved. A crate may be useful the first few nights.
  • Divide levels of affection, treats, playtime, as equally as you can between your own pet and the HO’s pet.
  • Feed in separate areas just to be on the safe side. Given a chance your pet will prefer the HO’s pet’s food far above her own!
  • Have lots of fun on walks and days out with the pets in mind.

Luckily we have a van so never have to travel light. A few photos!


About susancarey

Angela writes using pseudonym, Susan Carey. She has dual nationality, GB/NL and lives in Nijmegen. Susan has had short fiction published on multiple platforms and was a runner-up in the 2018 and 2017 Casket of Fictional Delights Flash Competitions. Her writing has also been published and performed by amongst others: Mslexia, Liars’ League, Reflex Fiction, the Casket and of course the wonderful Writers Abroad. In 2020 she published her short story collection, Healer. Tweets at @su_carey
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8 Responses to Have Dog, will Travel

  1. Congratulations on finishing your novel! It’s a good feeling, even if there’s still work to do.


  2. Jo Lamb says:

    Congrats on the novel, Angela! Loved the piccies of Wiltshire and Somerset, use to live in Frome not far from your piccie! Brought back lots of happy memories.


    • susancarey says:

      Hi Jo, thank you! I was only thinking about you the other day and wondering how you are getting on. Frome was such a nice place. Had a real creative vibe, friendly people too. I can imagine you miss it!


  3. creativetaffine says:

    gosh – well done! All sounds like a great success/fun.I took Phoebe first to Devonshire where I stayed on a farm. Phobe became a Very Happy Farm dog. Went up to Edinburgh with 8 hours on the train. Fortunately P has hollow legs! And where we stayed on the coast with plenty of walking. Finally to a family wedding in Oxford where Phoebe stayed with her Woof cousins! Quite an adventure! Sally X.


    • susancarey says:

      Thanks, Sally. I would love to get Tuppence used to farm animals, she is very curious but also scared of animals apart from other dogs.
      Eight hours on a train is long but Phoebe liking food is a plus!


  4. chrisnedahl says:

    Awesome blog, Angela, and wonderful news on your novel. All the best with your editing. Your pics are fab – give a real feel to your written word. xx


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