Our holiday with Hamish the Labrador

The first time we took our dog Hamish on holiday to France with us, he was just one year old and we took our tent and stayed in a campsite just outside Saumur on the Loire. Hamish was fine on the ferry and enjoys travelling, so no problems on our journey.

He seemed to know we were somewhere completely different to home (i.e. England) because he was really excited when we stopped for him to stretch his legs - running around frantically sniffing and wagging his tail, with an excited expression on his face.

He really enjoyed being allowed into restaurants and bars with us, and just loved the French

At the campsite, the layout was pretty standard with each tent (or caravan) being allocated an area which was screened off on 3 sides with hedges, and bordered on the 4th side with the access road. Hamish seemed to immediately understand this was his territory and stayed within the boundaries without being told.

Our daughter soon made friends on the campsite, and Hamish would greet visiting children with wags, but if an adult should dare to set foot on our area he would keep them at bay with a low growl until we told him it was OK to let them in. (Just the same as at home really). He really enjoyed being allowed into restaurants and bars with us, and just loved the French bread...

Hamish has become excited as soon as we arrived at the ferry terminal...

In the mornings we'd buy a baguette from the campsite bakery and break off the end for Hamish. First of all, he'd place the bread on the ground and dance around it, and it looked almost as if he was bowing down to it. Then after a few minutes of this, he'd pick it up and go crazy - throwing it in the air and catching it, then 'bombing' - running around and around the tent whilst tossing the bread in the air and generally entertaining himself. This became known as Hamish's 'bread dance' - and he's been doing it ever since when we give him a chunk of bread - going especially crazy when we give him French bread we've brought home from trips and frozen. On subsequent crossings, Hamish has become excited as soon as we arrived at the ferry terminal, obviously knowing what's in store for him.

He loves France, and enjoys his holidays there as much as we do. We're so pleased we don't have to leave him behind when we go away and he can visit all these new places with us.