Bonjour, tout le monde! I’m Monty Spaniel, Phileas Dogg’s brand new continental canine reporter. I’ll be bringing you the lowdown on what to do, see and sniff across the Channel, along with my personal recommendations for canine cuisine.
Ever since starring in an advert for puppy food when I was little, I’ve led a bit of a celebrity lifestyle. I’ve also been on TV, playing ‘Police Sniffer Dog Number 1’ in a real-life murder reconstruction, and have appeared in several magazines. Like many celebrities, I now have a holiday home in the south west of France, where I can lie doggo when I get fed up with the pup-arrazzi.
My house is in a tiny village in the foothills of the Pyrenees, and all the locals call me ‘le chien anglais’. Although there are Springer Spaniels in France (known as ‘les Springers’, pronounced ‘sprin – jair’), there aren’t any others in my neck of the woods, so I’m quite the local figure. When I’m at home in Britain and not crossing the continent, I live in Cheshire.
Of course, I have my own pass-paw-t. Since the regulations were changed on January 1st 2012, it’s even easier to go abroad – you just need a microchip, a rabies vaccination and a passport. It’s also really important to get your owner to treat you against ticks, as they carry some nasty diseases in some parts of France, and long-haired breeds like me are more at risk. Plus, I think the ticks like my blue blood.
I like to travel by Eurotunnel. It’s completely straightforward and stress-free, as I get to travel in the car with my owners, and the journey only takes half an hour. Plus, Eurotunnel have special doggy play areas where I can stretch my paws before the journey, and have a last sniff of my home turf before heading under the sea.
As a seasoned traveller, here are my recommendations for a comfortable journey.
- A decent, non-spill waterbowl, as it’s a long way to France, and a dog doesn’t like to get wet paws on the corners. I like the Road Refresher – solid, sturdy and it really is non-spill.
- Bedding to travel on – vet bed-type fleece is comfortable and easily washable.
- Toys – of course, I have two sets of toys, one at each end, but if you’re a novice traveller, you might like to take a toy to help you settle in.
I’ll be bringing you recommendations for dog-friendly places to stay, walks to do and places to visit in France, but for now, au revoir, mes amis (that’s French for ‘see ya later, chums’. I’m on page two of ‘French for Dogs’ now).
Phileas Fact Box: Travelling to France
- For more information about the Pet Travel Scheme and how to get your own passport, see http://www.defra.gov.uk/wildlife-pets/pets/travel/pets/pet-owners
- To find out more about travelling by Eurotunnel, see http://www.eurotunnel.com/uk/tickets/travelling-with-your-pet
- The Road Refresher travel bowl is available from http://www.roadrefresher.com