We never intended to have a dog. When my husband was alive he banned living fluffy things in the house so when the boys craved a dog we went dog walking at the local rescue centre. This led to me also saying no to dogs due to the realisation that it would be me dealing with the mess; hair; smell; rainy walks and having to pick up poo. The boys ended up with guinea pigs and I had chickens in the garden.
Everything changed last year however. My dear husband got an illness called MDS (a form of leukaemia) and sadly passed away in May 2014.
With my eldest son at university and my youngest due to leave soon, my friend decided I really should have some company. She introduced me to her beautiful two Bichon Frise dogs and I was converted! These dogs didn’t moult; were just the right size; were clean and affectionate and well just adorable.
When Ben went off to view Universities and I had a couple of nights on my own, I realised just how quiet and lonely it was going to be in the house so I went on-line to see just how much a Bichon would cost and came across and advert for a Poochon. It was love at first sight; I was completely smitten and so a few weeks later Zuki came into my life. I have never looked back – she is my perfect companion; loyal; fun; good natured; loving and everything I could ask for in a pet. Oh and now I don’t mind mess if it is hers; love spoiling her and really enjoy the long walks (even in the rain!).
There is just one thing – Zuki hates me leaving her and working from home meant she was used to me being around. But what if I wanted to go away? I had to leave Jack back to Manchester and didn’t want to do the journey all in one day. That is when I found my first dog friendly hotel. We stayed at the Palace Hotel in Manchester and it was really good! SO I decided that I could have a dog and still travel – that was when the idea was born. I know there are other websites who list pet friendly hotels and places to stay but not all regions are covered and not many are mobile friendly.
I decided to set up Have Dog Can Travel to address the gaps and cover all regions as well as cities. When I spoke to dog owners I meet up with locally at the park; in the woods etc. they all seemed to have one pet friendly place they went to but would like to know of more and most only looked at self-catering but would like to consider a hotel sometimes. They also wanted me to note whether they could have more than one dog on the site as that can often be an issue and they really wanted a list of ‘proper’ dog friendly places as many say they are but more or less just put up with the dogs and aren’t very friendly at all. SO here we have it ‘Have Dog Can Travel’ has begun its journey and I will start mine with Zuki when Ben leaves for University.
Until then I will list as many places as I can find that really will welcome you and your dog and review as soon as we get to visit them. We have started the Dog Blog at places I visit both at home here in Nottinghamshire and in Norfolk where I have a caravan. I aim to work my way round the UK and who knows where next!
Feel free to put forward your recommendations to me and I will check them out so we spread the word!
Wishing you all great travels!
Hazel (and Zuki) xx