Now that’s what I call dog friendly!

Last week I told you about our rather unpleasant experiences at a hotel that was meant to be dog friendly, so this week I’m going to tell you about a much friendlier place that we visited.

My bipeds booked a week at a country pub that allowed dogs to stay. We arrived in the afternoon and when we went in the landlady greeted us and asked if she could stroke me and give me a treat. My first impressions were favourable!

She then went through the formalities with my bipeds. After that she told my bipeds where they would find spare pillows, blankets, towels, coffee, tea, biscuits and sugar! She said that if they’d forgotten anything, such as toothpaste, they should ask as she’d probably be able to help out and it would save them a trip to the shops. My bipeds thanked her.

She said that she hadn’t put anything in the room for me, apart from a few treats, as my bipeds had said that they would be bringing my own things, but she always had spare dog bowls and towels if they should need them. Then she asked if we had a few minutes to meet her dog, as he usually had free access to the bar area and dining room. She said that he hadn’t met a dog as large as me while he’d been living with them and she wanted to know he would be okay with me. My bipeds said they’d be pleased to meet him.

She came back a moment later with the largest Greyhound I’ve ever seen. His name was Prince and he was a couple of inches taller than I am! He was an ex-racing Greyhound and had only been living with them for a couple of months. The landlady told us that he was still nervous around people – he hadn’t allowed anyone except her and her husband to stroke him so far. My bipeds assured her they understood and they wouldn’t approach him.

Eos, a favourite Greyhound of Prince Albert

Eos, a favourite Greyhound of Prince Albert
[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

We stood quietly and waited for him to approach us. He watched us for a moment and then came slowly towards us. He greeted me politely. The landlady said that she was content that he would be relaxed about me being in the bar area.

That evening we saw Prince stroll through the bar area a couple of times. On one of his visits, we saw someone try to stroke him and he shied away and left the room.

The next morning we were pleased to discover that breakfast was in the spacious bar dining area. The pub only had four rooms for guests to stay, so we had plenty of room. I could sprawl out on the floor and relax while my bipeds ate. Prince came in and had a look around to see what was going on. He wandered over to greet me, my bipeds pretended not to notice he was there. They continued to do this each time we saw him over the next few days, as they didn’t want to make him nervous.

Statue of Greyhounds playing, Vatican

Greyhounds Playing, Vatican, 2nd Century BC
[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

On our fourth morning at breakfast he came to greet me as he usually did, but instead of wandering back out of the room he went to the other side of the table. He stood just out of reach watching my bipeds. They pretended not to notice him and he edged a little closer.

The landlady appeared in the doorway with more coffee but saw how close Prince was to my bipeds, so she stayed in the doorway and waited to see what he would do.

I saw the female biped’s hand was resting on the edge of the table and Prince moved even closer and started sniffing it. My biped kept still and allowed him to sniff. Then she slowly turned her hand over so that he could sniff the other side. He moved even closer so that his nose touched her. She stroked him under his chin and he seemed okay with that so she stroked his neck and quietly told him how handsome he is.

The male biped asked the landlady if he could give Prince a piece of sausage. I’d already had some so I didn’t mind too much and the landlady said it was okay. My biped held his hand out flat with the piece of sausage. Prince looked at him and only hesitated for a second before moving closer to take it. He took it gently and stayed where he was, so the male biped stroked his neck. Prince seemed relaxed about it and stayed there for a few moments before wandering off.

Misse and Turlu, Greyhounds belonging to Louis XV

Misse and Turlu, Greyhounds belonging to Louis XV
By Jean-Baptiste Oudry (Life time: 1686-1755) (Musée national du Château de Fontainebleau) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The landlady brought the jug of coffee over. She was almost in tears because she was so pleased about Prince’s progress. She thanked my bipeds for being understanding with him but, more importantly, she fetched a couple of sausages for me!

She joined my bipeds for a cup of coffee and chatted about how there are lots of ex-racing Greyhounds in need of homes. She said that, with a little patience, they usually adapt well to a home environment. She told us they don’t need as much exercise as most people think, but they do need somewhere safe to run about. She also said that, as a breed, they have a tendency to chase smaller animals so people thinking of giving them a home need to be aware of that.

I don’t have any pictures of Prince because my bipeds didn’t want to startle him. But you can find some lovely pictures of Greyhounds, running and resting, on Solo’s blog, you can also learn more about Greyhounds there.

See you next Wednesday!

The dog friendly hotel that wasn’t

I enjoy going on holiday with my bipeds and I’ve stayed in some very interesting places. Other people have usually been keen to meet me wherever we’ve been staying. When my bipeds told me that we were going to stay in a boarding house that was especially friendly to dogs on our way back home from Devon, I thought it would be very special.

It was early evening when we arrived in a fairly small car park and we got out of the car. We went up the steps and when we opened the front door, I could tell that the female biped had noticed the strong, doggy aroma. We went in and three dogs rushed out barking at us. Someone came out and sent the dogs away. She said that her own dogs couldn’t normally get into the areas open to guests, as her dogs didn’t like other dogs being there!

As we went upstairs to our room, the female biped was whispering about the ripe, doggy smell. When we went into our room the male biped said, “See, it’s clean enough and it smells fresher in here.”

They unpacked my things and gave me some water and a snack. I settled down for a nap while they chatted and unpacked some of their things. They decided they would both have a shower and change and we would go out to eat. The female biped went to find the bathroom. She returned after only a few minutes and said, “There’s no shower and I’m not getting in that bath! I’ve had a quick wash to freshen up.”

The male biped replied, “You’re too fussy!”

She said, “Maybe, but the bath looks as though it’s been used by a couple of muddy Labradors!”

He said, “You could have rinsed it out.”

She said, “It needs more than a rinse. I’d rather take a bath in an old horse trough in a field!”

Old, rusty bath in a field

Bath? No, thank you!
Attribution: Matthew Hatton [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The male biped laughed and said, “I feel like a relaxing bath after being in the car. Is there any hurry?”

She said, “No, take all the time you want. Clowie looks as though she’s settling down for a nap and I’ll read.”

The male biped gathered some things together and left the room. We settled down to wait for him, but he wasn’t gone for many minutes.

The female biped asked, “Did you forget something?”

“No, but I was thinking that you’re probably tired, so it makes sense to go out now and get an early night. Then we’ll be able to make the most of tomorrow for exploring.”

The female biped seemed to be having trouble not laughing and said, “Really? And that change in thinking has nothing to do with the state of the bath?”

He grinned and said, “Absolutely not! Are you ready to go out?”

We made our way down the stairs and we were just about to go out of the main door when the male biped said quietly, “You were wrong about it being two muddy Labradors that used the bath – it was three muddy Border Collies!”

He nodded towards the open door to the bar area where some bipeds were sitting having a drink with three clean, but rather damp, Border Collies.

We went out and found a pleasant pub that allowed me to sit quietly with my bipeds while they had a meal. A few scraps found their way down to me, so it was an enjoyable evening.

The next morning the male biped said that it wasn’t the fault of the guesthouse if people had used the bath for their dogs and not cleaned up after themselves and that the bathroom would probably be spotless now. The female biped looked unconvinced but gathered her things and left the room. She was soon back, saying it was worse and she’d rather break the ice on a horse trough!

Frozen trough

I’d rather break the ice on a horse trough!
Attribution: wfmillar [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The male biped made a short visit to the bathroom and we headed down for breakfast. My bipeds agreed that this should be fun as there was a special doggy menu.

We opened the door to the breakfast room and were greeted by lots of barking. There were about eight tables in there, all quite close together. Most of the bipeds had two or three dogs with them. We were ushered to the table with our room number on it and, as we passed them, several dogs tried to lunge at us. My bipeds helped me to get between the table and the wall so that I was not near any other dogs.

My bipeds didn’t take long over breakfast. They both said they weren’t really hungry. I could tell they were keeping a close eye on what was going on around us.

When we left the breakfast room another dog and his bipeds followed us. He had been sitting under the table looking scared. His bipeds spoke to my bipeds and we dogs greeted each other. Our bipeds all agreed that it was the worst place they’d ever stayed in and they wouldn’t be coming back!

It certainly wasn’t the fun we’d been hoping, but it was an interesting experience!

See you next Wednesday!