When we fostered Vinnie during the first lockdown back in March 2020, I never imagined we would be driving through Spain with him two–and-a-half-years later.
But, handing over the keys to the new owners of what was our first home coincided with the end of my contract role (plus the fact our friends were currently living in Spain) – it became an opportunity we couldn’t refuse.
We packed up my mini, strapped in Vinnie and set off for the Eurotunnel over to Calais. Nearly 10 hours and 700 miles (with a few stopovers) later and we arrived at our first stop in Spain – San Sebastian. From here we would make our way down to Seville, followed by Zahora where we would then follow the coastline to Valencia – our final stop for Christmas Day.
Fancy driving through Europe with your four-legged friend? Here’s what you need to know.
As a result of the cost of living crisis, rehoming centres are seeing an increase in dogs being handed over while at the same time there is a decrease in adoptions. More and more people are worried about how they are going to put food on the table for themselves let alone in their dog’s bowl.
Dogs Trust has had record numbers wanting to rehome their dog. While in June, a YouGov survey for the RSPCA found that 78% of owners thought the crisis would affect their pet with 19% worried about how they would feed them.
Are you wondering how you can help? In March 2020 we fostered a dog for the first time during lockdown and now, foster carers are needed more than ever. For dog lovers it has just as many benefits for you as it does for the pup. So here’s why, if you can, you should consider doing it too.
Along with many others, we got a dog at the start of lockdown. Not knowing what was to follow and naively thinking we may only work from home for a matter of weeks, we initially fostered him. However, a few months later, after much thought and consideration as to whether he would fit into our life post-pandemic, we decided to adopt him.
In March last year, rescue centres were rehoming dogs faster than ever before. The Sunday before lockdown, Battersea Dogs and Cats Home alone had 1200 applications. Likewise, according to Dogs Trust, during the first month of restrictions, searches for ‘buy a puppy’ were up 120%. This high demand for them resulted in prices being more than doubled – but this didn’t deter those looking for a lockdown companion.
Remember, remember the fifth of November… is actually quite a terrifying night for a lot of animals.
Each year, thousands of people wrap up warm to head outside and watch in awe as fireworks shoot up into an explosion of bright colours high above their head. However, those loud bangs and flashes of light that we ‘ohh’ and ‘ahh’ over, can be incredibly frightening for our pooches. So those with dogs may well be at home, trying to comfort their four-legged friend instead.
It’s hot, isn’t it? But, while we are sweating and feel like we can’t cool down no matter how many layers we strip off, we aren’t stuck in a fur coat that we can’t remove. Ours (fake fur, of course) were put to the back of the wardrobe as soon as the sun started shining.
While we head straight for the sea or pool to jump in and out of the cool water, consume ice creams alongside ice cold drinks, all while wearing our most airy clothes – dogs don’t have this luxury. Instead, they rely on us to keep them cool in the heat. More than that, they rely on us to keep them safe. They can get both heatstroke and sunburn – which is more than uncomfortable, it can be incredibly harmful and potentially fatal.