It was my first gotcha-versary - the anniversary of the day I was 'got' from the rescue centre - and so my humans decided to take me on an October Northumberland adventure to celebrate.
We started on the coast near Alnwick. It was a crisp day with blue skies, despite the fact that inland and further South it was rather damp and grey. Often we've visited the beach at Alnmouth, but due to my previous picnic-thieving success, we went instead to the quieter, very beautiful, beach at Longhaughton. We had an excellent time chasing balls and waves, and I was able to run around to my heart’s content.
Having burned off some energy, we headed to the second-hand bookshop in Alnwick, Barter Books, for a browse and some lunch. My humans pulled me towards the Philosophy section, but I made sure they visited the dog treat jar en route. While they browsed, I said hello to the other dogs, and had a big drink of water from the bowls provided. Then we all settled down by the fire to read.
Next up was the Alnwick pet shop, Northumbria Pets, where we got my gotcha-versary present: a warm, wind-proof coat with a tartan lining. The shopkeepers admired me and gave me lots of treats: I think it’s my favourite shop.
As my humans were on what they call a ‘budget’ (something to do with how many token bones you have), we camped in Beadnell Bay campsite. They were a bit worried about how I’d like camping, as I have a good bark if there are strange people on my territory – but I really took to it. On the first night, I slept in the car next to the tent with the window a little open. On the second night, a chilly sea mist blew in, so we all bundled into the tent together. I loved it here – especially the runs along the beach next to the campsite, and sharing my humans’ fish and chips from the campsite chippie.
During the trip we visited the Farne Islands on a Serenity boat tour. The scenery was lovely and we even saw some mer-dogs (or seals, as the humans call them). Apparently October is peak seal pup time! Naturally I was much admired by the crew and other passengers.
On the third day we drove inland to Barrowburn, where we stayed at The Deer Hut. This is probably the most remote place I’ve ever visited – it’s off-grid and the sky gets really dark. My humans borrowed the owners’ star-gazing kit and sat outside admiring the sky. Luckily I was there too to guard them.
The countryside there is beautiful: it’s near the Scottish border and is hilly and lush. Locally one can visit Lady’s Well and Harbottle Castle, both of which are dog-friendly. On the final day we drove home via Simonside, where I had a lovely time racing around the enormous pine woods.
Lola (Professor Lola Binglebat)