The People's Friend
Polly Pullar and her collies enjoy a summer holiday
Polly Pullar shares stories and photos from her summer holidays with the collies.
IKNOW it may seem mad, but one of the reasons why we tend to prefer to have our holidays in Scotland rather than travelling abroad is due to the canine crew.
We now have three generations – grandma Pippin, daughter Molly and granddaughter Maisie – and we relish holidays taken with our threesome.
However, we have always tried to ensure that wherever we take them, and whatever we do, they have to fit in with us and must be well behaved at all times.
Of course, this can be hard work, and people often ask how long it takes to train our dogs. I reply, “Until the day they die.”
It’s so easy to become lax about good manners, and we have noticed that now we have three, the dynamics have changed and there is a great deal more competition, more barging out of the house doors in their eagerness to be outside, more barking when visitors come, and then far more fuss greeting visitors.
The dogs must be ignored totally when people walk in
rather than being allowed to rush up rudely, vying with one another to gain the most attention.
It sounds strict but it pays off, and when we ease up on these simple manners, then they become a handful again.
Due to the fact that the dogs have to fit in with us, they have always proved extremely well behaved on holiday.
We can take them out and about anywhere and know that they are going to be a joy at all times.
I usually go to Ardnamurchan several times a year on “working holidays” and usually take all three of them with me.
When Maisie was a teenager, she came several times on her own so that I could work hard on instilling manners into her, and we also tend to separate the dogs quite often so that they don’t rely on one another. It is interesting how
their characters alter when they are top dog for a few days.
The dogs love their holidays as much as we enjoy having them. I have been looking through their albums and hope you will enjoy them and from the images see just why we so often choose to stay in Scotland instead of venturing further afield.
It’s a dogs’ life and they seem to really appreciate it. The funniest aspect is that now they are so conditioned to posing on a beautiful rock with a wonderful panorama behind them that they do it without being asked. It makes Iomhair and me laugh because often they find some great spots! n