A little piece from us and Chuck about his recent 'busman's holiday' to Amsterdam! By Thomas & Isobella Bennet
3 is definitely our magic number. Our past weekend can be summed up in 3 sets of '3': 3 Welsh Terriers, 3 foreign countries, 3rd in an international championship dog show.
Tom and I haven't been abroad on holiday together in the last 4 years or so (we do go separately!) because we don't want to leave Chuck behind. He's a great traveller, but not a fan of the hotel 'experience' so we'd been reluctant to take him on a holiday which involved any sort of hotel stay.
If there's one thing which will push me into doing something, it tends to be dog shows. When he's not getting covered in muck, Chuck is a 'part-time supermodel', tarting around (there's really no other way to describe him in a show ring) in front of his adoring fans. We'd done Crufts in March and having seen some adverts for the World Dog Show displayed there, I signed Chuck up. The World Dog Show was going to be in Amsterdam. It's judged on European regulations, so fairly different to how a UK show runs - I won't bore everyone with the finer details, but basically you get graded twice. You're Excellent/Good/Rubbish then anyone who's Excellent gets a 1st-4th rank. I was terrified. Chuck's mid-league if you like, he's not Man U, but he's also not Wycombe Wanderers, he's somewhere in the middle.
Knowing Chuck's nervy panic about hotel noises, we rented a house in the suburbs of Amsterdam - having spent months working out where a quiet, residential area would be, with good access to the city itself and the show venue. We have never taken Chuck on a boat and a 7 hour ferry to the Hook of Holland probably wouldn't be the best introduction to that experience, so we booked a tunnel crossing, knowing that Chuck would be safe in the car with us, and if anything, he'd only irritate the other car drivers in our carriage at most for 35 mins.
Chuck adores the car. The journeys out and back probably took about 8 hours in total each way with stops for walkies, wees and coffee. Chuck had a lovely journey napping or watching the countryside and I'm not sure he even noticed we were on a Le Shuttle train at all!
He awoke in Amsterdam, refreshed and ready to go. We were knackered. I had managed to bully some other dog show friends into taking their two Welsh girls to the show too, so they joined us at the house. Chuck knows these girls well and adores them. Naturally, he tried to attract their attention with some amorous advances which were quickly rebuffed within the first half hour... Poor Chuck didn't try it again. Gave up and quite visibly sulked about the rejection. But we all had a lovely time in the Welsh Terrier House of Crazy! Chuck slept like a log through the nights, in his show crate, downstairs. Not a peep from him until the morning, which was fab.
We did the dog show the next day. There were 36 Welsh, and Chuck came 3rd (Excellent) in his class against some champions!!! I nearly burst into tears. Chuck just wagged at everyone, having a lovely time.
We spent the next two days exploring. I thoroughly recommend Amsterdam for a dog-friendly holiday. Everything's flat, well-laid out and there's surprise forests and parks around the city. Dogs really do go everywhere - Chuck had his first experience of a supermarket shopping centre, tram travel, and canal life. We'd go back in an instant.
Editors note: Well done Chuck and family! Loved reading about your exploits!
Nicola Gee writes:
I love Chucks little adventure and I hope this is the first of many overseas trips now he has his passport. He is such a lovely boy and Woody does have a soft spot for him :-) We found Le Shuttle to be a fantastic way to travel and will be doing it again for sure. Amsterdam sounds lovely and great to hear it is dog friendly. It is always nice to find new places that we can all go to. xx
I visited Amsterdam when I was eighteen years old and instantly fell in love with the place and the people. I would love to go back.