OK, so we're formally idiotic. We decided, for some stupid reason, to get the tourer out from its place in the back garden, service it and replace the tyres, and then take it away for a couple of days during one of the windiest periods this winter! And to cap it all, we went all of 6 miles up the road to stay at Durham Caravan Club site. Why??? Well, we have been trying out "stuff" with Tara to see how she takes to it - the Travelodge trip to Perth in January was part of that. It was time to try the tourer to see if we can use it with a big dog! The idea was that we could get home easily if things went wrong, but equally it would be a place that was certainly "away".
So we found a place for Tara's crate (instead of the lower bunk bed, as it happens, which left the upper bunk bed support as a very useful work surface) strapped it in, loaded everything up and set off. It's amazing how the skills of towing come back even after a five year (yes, five year) break! My reversing was shockingly bad to start with, but even that came back eventually! Pitched and comfortable with the kettle on, we then introduced Tara to the wonders of Club sites. Lots of new sights and, more importantly, smells were to be found as well as a wonderful dog walk with a surfeit of such smells to investigate!
As an aside, being on a touring site in poor weather in March really does show the kind of people who tour at this time of year ... lots of really good, expensive outfits and, we surmised, lots of pension lump sums represented. There were NO grotty outfits and ours was, by a long way, the oldest caravan there. It still held its own though!
Tara loved the experience - being in close proximity with her "pack" was great for her and she really enjoyed the walks around the place. One nice thing we hadn't thought of was that she could see out and she spent quite a lot of time watching what was going on through the front windows.
We even had a couple of outings (to Durham services for McDonalds lunch ... don't judge us).
So, all in all a really pleasant experience that shows that so long as a dog is with its family, it's happy. We now feel confident planning a longer holiday somewhere ... but that will be another story!