I have loved Britain ever since I went to University in the South of England, almost 25 years back. Of course, I returned after that, but only ever for a few days at a time and mostly to London. Now that travelling with Dogs to the UK has become so much easier and that I have treated myself to my own Campervan 😀 …
… it was time to go back and explore some more. So off we went to Cornwall!
And what can I say: We had the most fantastic time! 😀 Not just because the weather was ideal all the way through (it is just bad rumours about the British weather 😎) and the landscape stunningly beautiful 🌴 (all Rosamunde Pilcher Addicts knew that already).
But because of the People! I did not know until this Summer, that there is a Country in the Western hemisphere where People are truly friendly, patient and polite, at all times 😳 And where, more importantly, they are absolutely crazy about Dogs! 🐕 😍 Welcome to Dog Lovers‘ Paradise! 😉
Admittedly, having Anakin with us – as an Ibizan Hound still a rather rare sight in the British countryside – may have had its share in this, but … Could you possibly imagine German hairdressers dropping their scissors and running from their Shops just to stroke your Dog? Can you imagine little children and their Mothers not screaming frantically (or at least looking horrified) when they have to squeeze past your very large dog on an extremely narrow staircase? Or children, even very small children, having a racing duel with 50 large Hounds at a public event without any parents or authorities protesting?
Can you imagine being told 50 times a day how beautiful your Dog is, always with an admiring smile on people’s face? No? Well, go to England and you’ll get exactly that! 😍 Only on very few days was this topped by the number of Poodles and Spaniels, Fish & Chip Shops, Volkswagen T1 Campervans from the 50s and 60s (in case you wondered where they have all disappeared to: They are in the UK now, highly treasured and still in every-day use 👍) and roundabouts we encountered 😉 (I am still trying to figure out how to do those nifty double roundabouts 😎 ).
Anakin even caused the most unexpected reunion! 👍 On our one day stop in Oxford, my friend Alex was taking care of the Dogs, while I was getting myself some George & Davis ice-cream, just like back in 1994. A woman cycled past Alex and stopped – again just because of Anakin, asking all about him. When I joined the Two and we talked, she suddenly looked at me strangely and said „Weren’t you at St. Cross?“ 😳 In fact, Cressida and I had lived next door at College, but failed to stay in touch after our graduation. Had it not been for Anakin, we would have missed each other by a mere minute.
Even when Anakin „exploded“ in the middle of busy Oxford High Street (his bowels did not seem to cope well with skimmed milk ☺️), nobody would make a nasty comment or pull a face, instead they offered help! 😳😍
Over the entire two weeks of our Journey, I can only think of two Brits who managed to annoy me: An elderly man at one campsite’s dog run who wouldn’t let his poodle play with Anakin because I was taking pictures 🤔 And one silly woman at St. Ives‘ Beach who did not realize that the huge rubber boat she was carrying on her head scared the Dogs when she asked us about them 🙄 Back home I reach that count in 10 minutes on a Monday morning 😎
I guess, one reason why – unlike at home – noone ever bitched about Anakin being too thin was because (apart from the fact that he is not 😉 ) they are so used to Greyhounds and Lurchers which are just as slim. Talking abut Greyhounds, we also visited the Cornwall Branch of the Retired Greyhound Trust, a nationwide Rescue that takes care of about 9,000 Greyhounds that leave the remaining British Racetracks every year, and which manages to find good homes for all of them! Telling from the number of Greyhound pets we saw every day, this might well be true – and it makes me wonder when second-hand Podencos will finally have their breakthrough as Family Pets in Spain 😔