Since we returned to Scotland after living for a few years in London we'd decided we wanted to get a dog. Ideally we wanted to get a rescue dog however this turned out to be problematic due to our lack of experience. A lot of the dogs that are available from the rehoming charities need to be placed with people that know what they're doing, as they often have behaviour issues. While they do get dogs that are appropriate for beginners like us they are easy to place, so tend to get placed quickly.
We'd almost given up on the idea when my sister (who has a dog-grooming business, 4 dogs and is generally an expert on such things) mentioned a charity we hadn't tried called "Any Dog 'il Do" (http://www.anydogildorescue.org/). On checking their website there did appear to be a dog that we'd be suitable for, so I filled in their adoption enquiry form although without thinking we'd have much of a chance. I was therefore surprised to get a call-back to get more details, then even more surprised a few days later to get another call letting us know that they were thinking of us as the front runners!
The dog in question was a very lively and active 4 (nearly 5) year old Labrador/Golden retriever cross and the charity wanted to place him with someone who had the time to exercise him a lot. With Fiona now retired and with us having a secure garden they also liked the sound of the amount of outdoors stuff we do, including the motorhome trips which they thought the dog would love. So after a home visit by the charity to check us out then a meeting with the dog himself we soon found we had a new addition to the family - meet Ludo!
He's really more of a re-homed dog than a rescue dog - he's not been abused or neglected, is very well house trained and also doesn't really have any behavioural issues barring a little bit of noisy barking when he meets other dogs. He'd originally been owned by a lady who clearly had looked after him well, but with a new partner and young kids arriving they didn't really have the lifestyle to look after him anymore. The upshot of this was that our lack of experience with dogs wasn't an issue and was outweighed by having the sort of active lifestyle that the charity felt Ludo needed. That plus some serious selling skills being deployed by myself to persuade the charity that we were the best option for Ludo!
It had always been the plan to take a dog with us on our motorhome trips so we decided that a trial outing was needed, so decided to head for a tried and trusted location not too far away for his first trip - the motorhome overnight stop at Loch Katrine in the Scottish Trossachs (see our 2018/2019 New Years blog entry for details of a previous visit). This is a great spot where for £18 per night you can overnight with an electric hookup and with access to a heated toilet & shower-room just for the motorhomers. There is also a water point although no-where to drop toilet waste (not an issue for us). You also get a discount on boat trips on the Loch - well worth doing.
Most importantly there were great walking options both on the almost traffic free tarmac road beside the loch, and also up into the nearby hills.
Ludo was quite nervous in the motorhome at first, as he got used to it. On the way back he slept much of the time so seemed a lot happier.
We used one of those routes on the first day, with glorious views across the Loch on a lovely day.
After a quiet and comfortable night we headed along the Loch again the next day, this time letting Ludo into the water as it turns out he loves to swim (normal for a Labrador), especially into cold and clear water like this.
The weather was even better today and we had a really nice couple of walks (one of them about 8 miles) as we all got used to each other.
The motorhome parking here is definitely one we'll be revisiting as it's a nice location, plus a great option with Ludo given the nice walking options straight out of the motorhome.