When I sent my letter to France Magazine, I had no idea that they would publish it! I received a very nice reply from a lady who agreed they should have more articles about traveling with dogs and would pass the information over. The next thing I knew, my letter was published in the April issue of France magazine!
I have to say that the magazine is very informative and there are articles with road trips one can do in a car or campervan. There are articles about where one can stay with dogs, but none about doing things with dogs. I have two active dogs that require a fair amount of exercise. It can be nearly impossible to find a campsite for a night or two where we can let the dogs loose for a good run and is why I started writing about camping with dogs. Some places are better than others. So far, we have had the best adventures with the dogs in the Picos mountains in Spain. I also have one very sensible dog and one very daft dog. It’s the daft one that can potentially turn a trip into a total disaster. So far, so good.
From what we have seen in France and in Spain, there are people who travel with dogs, but they mainly seem to be small dogs. The big dogs seem to be owned by locals living in the countryside and that have to work for a living. They are not pets as we know them. They are guard dogs and spend their days free range in the villages. I would assume that over the years they have worked out a pecking order among themselves and they are not too keen on strangers (why I always go out with a walking stick). My dogs like to run around and explore and they love to swim. Therefore, we try to find places to explore where they can do that. Large towns and cities are terrible for my dogs. We can’t go into anything or have to take it in turns. We don’t shop. We might eat, but no shopping or sightseeing.
So, you can imagine my disappointment when I got kicked out of the park in France. It was a perfect place to go for a walk on my own with the dogs while Bob tried some paragliding elsewhere. I don’t mind being left on my own with them as long as we have something to do, but I couldn’t even find a safe place to swim in the river as the water was really humping.
This year we are again going to try something different. I am in the process of trying to find some nice cycle routes in Normandy and Brittany that are safe to take the dogs on. When I say safe, I really mean where they can run alongside the bikes without the cycle route being used like the Tour de France as it was in Annecy. We had to tow the dogs the whole way around and stop where we thought they could run around a bit. That wasn’t ideal either. So far, Biscarrosse in France has been the best for cycling with the dogs as there was a long stretch where they could run loose behind us, or in the case of the daft one, next to us. If anyone has any recommendations, please let us know.
So I am looking forward to receiving future issues of France Magazine to see if they have any articles about having adventures with dogs. In the meantime, I’m waiting for my book to arrive! 🙂