I've just had 5 minutes to myself to sit down and look at some of the photos from this past weekend's trip to Northern Ireland.
It was a whirlwind few days - setting off on Thursday evening to stay in a hotel, before continuing north to Cairnryan in Scotland to catch a ferry. Then arriving in Larne, Northern Ireland and travelling the short distance to Coomber where my good friends from The Patch reside.
Our hosts from Castlereagh agility club had the most amazing home to welcome us into for the weekend, which was a welcome bonus for us weary travellers arriving late in the evening.
Then two days judging for Martin, and one for me before competing with the girls - a new experience in a different country, but so relaxing and friendly! It was great catching up with old friends, and lovely to make a whole bunch of new ones at the same time :)
In total we spent approximately 8.5 hours there and back on the road, which is a big ask for most people - never mind our dogs. But as you can imagine I made some careful preparations to make sure that it was as stress free and comfortable as possible for them.
Here's some tips for travelling with your own dogs:
- Plan regular stops for everyone to get out and stretch their legs
- Look into which hotels will accept dogs
- Depending on what time of year you're travelling, make sure you have coats for dogs lying still on the journey
- Exercising your dog's mind as well as their body when you stop can help them settle down better when getting back into the vehicle
We had a thoroughly enjoyable weekend, but it definitely wasn't for the faint-hearted and I wouldn't have wanted to do it with dogs who weren't comfortable travelling. Fortunately the four dogs we took with us are all keen for any adventure that their crazy mother suggests ;)
Whilst tired out by a long weekend (and even now still catching up!), I can't help feeling very grateful for the dogs that I've been blessed with to share my travels with. They drew admiring comments and looks at every stage of our journey - and whilst I might be a little biased - rightly so too ;)