In 2018, just a few months after finding our freedom and setting off to tour Europe in a motorhome, we found ourselves in Norway… looking at photos of puppies.
We weren't 100% sure it was a good idea, but for the first time in our adult lives we had the time and ability to have a dog- and we wanted one.
All of a sudden, we landed on this photo- and were instantly smitten:
I know many people consider getting a dog when they're off travelling in a motorhome or camper- it's certainly a good idea to improve motorhome security.
Below, we share our story and how we came to have Mac in our lives- and how the first few weeks have been!
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Watch the video of us collecting our new puppy!
Why did we buy a puppy?
Because of this:
Just look at this cuteness. 💖
We've been talking about getting a dog for years. And years. And years. But the timing was never quite right and common sense always won out in the end, especially when we were both working.
But now I've quit my job, we feel we have the time and ability to give a dog a good and loving home.
So there we were, in Norway, on our very first trip of freedom without our daughter and few other responsibilities… and we found ourselves looking at puppies for sale. We're obviously crazy.
What sort of Adventure Puppy did we get?
Initially, we wanted a labrador or something similar. We've always loved big, clever dogs and don't mind at all the exercise requirements- we're looking forward to all the walks and hikes and adventures. But the more we actually started to think about it, the more we decided that a lab might be a little bit too big for our motorhome or our boat (which I know some readers might find hilarious- we know several people who travel with 2 or 3 big dogs in their motorhome. Don't be too hard on us- we're nervous first-time puppy owners!)
Several years ago, we'd researched spaniels. I've always loved their floppy ears and the utter joy on their faces when they play. (I didn't at the time realise their ability to make their eyes so sorrowful and devastated when you stop them doing something… it's heartbreaking!)
Spaniels are smaller than labs, but no less intelligent. The more we researched the breed, the more they seemed right for us.
Initally, we thought we wanted a black/ chocolate colour dog- as we mainly wear dark colour clothes!!- but then we saw this picture and we were gone. GONE. Totally in love. To the point that I almost cried before I phoned the breeder in case he was no longer available. He's the one with the white stripe down his face.
Luckily, the breeder sais he was still there and the deal was struck. Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Macallan. (Because he looks like whiskey!)
We love him so much that we decided to cut our trip to Norway short and go back to collect him as soon as possible- we're weird like that!! 🙂
How have the first couple of days been?
We decided to stay at a nearby campsite so he didn't have to travel too far with us on that first day. He was good as gold- until it rained during the night and he HOWLED in terror. The noise on the motorhome roof scared the life out of him.
My husband was in stitches- all my talk about him sleeping in his crate and not making a fuss… but he was so scared that I spent most of the night sitting next to his crate instead of in our bed (which was only 5ft away, but it seemed to help calm him down!)
The campsite we stayed at was great and soon we were ‘the couple with the new puppy'- all the kids came to stroke and play with him… which was awesome as it tired him out. He seems very settled and well adjusted in the van, which bodes well for the future and our plans to take our dog from UK to France and then further into Europe! It's a great place to start with a new dog, as you can't go too far away from them- it seems to help build a bond very quickly.
Miraculously, he's very good at night and can hold a wee for about 7 hours- impressive at this age. Let's hope that continues!
Some facts about Mac
Date of Birth: 19 May 2018
Breed: Working Cocker Spaniel Pedigree- both parents are working gundogs
Colour: Red (apparently not Red and White, even though he has the white patches)
Favourite things in life so far: Chicken; Ham; Cheese; Squeaky fox; tennis ball; furry mouse (which is actually a cat toy but he loves it!)
Next step- introduce him to the boat and start the training process- although we've already started with his name and sit. He's also been for a walk on the lead- which was hilarious as he (and I guess all puppies!) refuses to walk in a straight line, so you nearly stand on them about 100 times.
2021 UPDATE: Mac has now settled in very well and LOVES travelling around Europe in the motorhome.
Some more posts you might be interested in:
- How to take your dog from UK to Europe after BREXIT
- 5 essential dog travel accessories
- How to travel with a dog from UK to France in a pet-friendly cabin
- How to keep your dog cool on a road trip
You can keep up to date with Mac's adventures here on Instagram