One morning in September 2015 at 05:00 we are of for our destination: Dover via Calais with the ferry. Task ahead: pick up a little doggy who is in need of a new forever home.
I think Bob thought I was mad, but we had a long journey ahead of us.
We did 900km in about 9 hours, the roads where easy to go and not very busy. We had our regular stops for diesel, toilet and coffees. Bob was the best co-driver you can have… fast asleep in his bed.
We arrived in our hotel at a decent hour with enough time for some relaxing and some dinner. Bob slept in the room with me, and he luuuuves that!. This is possible in French hotels! One good thing about the French!
On day two we left around 07:00 in the morning to drive 630km, get on the ferry and find our hotel in Dover: the A20 Premier Inn.
Again I was lucky with not too much traffic on the road and all went real smooth. Getting on to the ferry was easy as well. Bob had all the required jabs and a anti worm treatment, signed by the vets, older than 24 hours but not older than 5 days. I was worried Bob would be scared on the ferry, with all the noises and rocking of the boat. I was very wrong, he was fast asleep, little bugger.
Arriving in Dover I had to be on full alert as I am not used to drive on the “wrong side” of the road. I was very worried. On the internet I had found a dog friendly hotel just outside of Dover. Just to make sure I had not have to drive far as I am not used to drive on, for me, the wrong side of the road. Here I was, some 40 something Dutch woman in a Spanish car, and off I went with sweaty hands on the wheel, sat nav on, finding my way trough traffic. Of course I got confused and I thought I had already passed the hotel, so in a street I went, planning on turning around when I saw a couple of locals and asked them where I had to go. Turned out the hotel was a little further down the road. And so it was.
Arriving at the A20 Premier Inn I came to the shocking conclusion that dogs were NOT allowed. SHOCK_HORROR!!!! I booked this hotel via Bookings.com (and it was advised on Trip-Adviser) as it being a dog friendly hotel!!! I seriously had to adjust my plans as I had to stay the night here with two dogs in a car on a non secure car park! You can believe me, this did not sit well with me at all!
There was a Beefeaters next door but I could sit outside with Bob at one of their tables, so I did this instead….and then of course…sods law, it started to rain heavily. Bob ended up in the car again and I ended up inside Beefeaters.
When I was on the ferry, I contacted the Jake’s foster mum to let her know what time I should be at the hotel and if she would be available to bring Jake that afternoon or evening. What I did not realize then was that she lives 3 hours away from Dover. But as foster mum is wonderful Wonder Woman, she did not say a word, got in the car and drove up to bring Jake and to see me and Bob.
When she arrived, I was still inside Beefeaters and after saying our hello’s,we went to get the boys out of our cars.
The first encounter was a little “disappointing” as Jake started to growl to Bob. We took them to a little field to see if this would continue, but as soon as we got there they were both fine, pfeeew.
After the meet and greet of the boys, they went in to the back of my car, I gave them their dinners and water.Foster mum and I went for a drink (tea and coffee!!!), did the paper work and talked about dogs, as you do among dog lovers.
When foster mum left I went back to the boys and gave them a short walk. I really had to get used to this tiny little ragamuffin. I was used to a slightly bigger breed. After this I went for dinner and went to bed. Knowing a long journey was still ahead of us.
My night was short. I felt uncomfortable not having the dogs in a secured car park. And at 04:00 in the morning I drove off after a 2-hour sleep (better get moving instead of being frustrated in a bed not being able to sleep). I got the ferry back to Calais at 05:15 (thinking it was P&O Ferries turning out it was DFDS Ferries and a lot easier). Both boys slept like a rock on the ferry while I was having breakfast and enjoying a good quality free wifi.
After the ferry it was another 630 km to drive back to the first hotel. I stopped every 2 hours to see if the boys where ok. Both of them are very good travelers, fast asleep…. blooming lousy co-drivers….ARRRGGGG…ha ha ha. I was lucky with the traffic, nice to have an easy drive, It was all good to go.
I did see on my way up and down in Calais the people who are trying to get to England in their tents and “camp”. So difficult to see, frightening on the one hand, feeling bad for them on the other hand.
We arrived in the hotel at a decent hour. Day light was still there and it gave me some time to have the boys together and interact of lead and all seemed to be going well. The toy elephant I got for Jake was being severely tested between the two of them! We had a nice long walk to get rid of some energy and to get to know each other a little better.
In the evening the boys slept in the car (this is a secure car park!!) to make sure I would have a good night sleep so I could do the next 900km of driving the next day.
We left at 06.30 in the morning. The first part of the journey was fine. The further I got in to the journey the busier it got. Felt like the French where on their holidays again. At the toll booths I had to stand in line to get through, taking 10-15 minutes each time. Mind you on the other side of the road there was a 10km traffic jam to get to the tolls. I was very glad I was not in one of those!
I stopped regularly for the boys and I and around 16:30 I arrived home safely.
I was glad I was home. It was along journey and my bum was telling me not to do this for a good while.
Jake has tested me since the moment we got in. He has been dragging a lot of stuff around the house. Killed a pair of flip flops. Found the remote, his toys, my clothes and is nonstop going.
Around bed time I put him in his bed and he started to sing his song badly. As I wanted to sleep I thought the better of it and put him back in the car… sadly he kept singing his song in there as well, so Bob joined him and they slept the whole night until 08:00 this morning.
The boys have had a view collisions during our first day at home over toys, food and me. Jake has taking it up on him that I need to be protected from Bob. Nipping that right in the bud, but this is gonna be a bit of a challenge.
We had a long walk just before lunch and they are now both down and out… ahhhhhh peace…lol
Now the fun starts!
This story was written in September 2015