Do 2 small dogs equal 1 large dog? Do 4 tiny dogs equal 1 massive dog? A lot of people think so…mainly those who have 2 small or 4 tiny dogs.
When we started trading as a holiday business we decided to keep the B&B dog free for those guests who aren’t partial to dog hairs, dog smells, dog breath, fleas and ticks, barking, drool and so on (I know… what is wrong with those people?) We did, however, decide to welcome dogs into the studios and cabins.
After a couple of bad experiences with guests who brought 2 dogs we decided to limit the dog friendly thing to 1 labradoodle, cockapoo, puggle whatever, per accommodation. It is very clear on the website but people will always try for 2, 3 and as I say, even 4 dogs. Their dogs are always very well-behaved, very friendly and very small. We have considered introducing a ‘dog test’ i.e. what does constitute a well-behaved dog as, believe me, views differ widely on this. We only really have 1 rule for dogs (don’t chase Richard’s hens) and 1 rule for owners (dispose of poo) – the dogs always obey their rule but the owners sometimes don’t.
I usually stand firm but we did break the rule once – it was midweek and no one else was booked in so what could possibly go wrong? A couple came with their 2 chihuauas and stayed in a cabin. To be fair the dogs were no trouble at all but the washing up bowl did disappear – go figure as they say in America!
I’m no dog expert but I have discovered the following things about dogs since we moved to Dale Farm:
- All dogs love holidaying at Dale Farm
- All dogs are basically friendly when you get to know them – dogs don’t really want trouble
- A terrier will always chase a small furry creature
- A happy dog likes to know who is boss and he doesn’t want to be the boss so step up.
- Dogs generally cause less mayhem than children.
- Watching a dog on a beach lifts the human spirit
I have also discovered that people ADORE their dogs – they often choose their holiday destination purely for the dog and refer to it as the dog’s holiday. Ladies will sit in the backs of cars with dogs to keep them company (bugger the poor driver).
Dogs are not human but they do have distinct personalities and some are more likeable that others. Our current favourites include – Bruce a fellow hotelier from Scarborough – fast and clever and doesn’t suffer fools; Bodger, an ageing Staffy with loads of charisma and an affable disposition; Zac (pictured below) an eccentric, wirehaired Visla – if Bruce is scary and sporty, Zac is ginger and posh, a sort of canine Lesley Phillips; finally, Marcel Caryl, a young French Bulldog and regular visitor to the farm who actually has his own Facebook page if you would like to follow him. Marcel is master of the Gallic shrug and likes to puke nonchalantly after long car journeys as if this was perfectly normal.