Mist friendly accommodation
Mist does not care where she stays but her master and family have a higher spec, particularly in the winter months! The reality is that a lot of accommodation owners do not accept dogs, even in classic walking areas such as the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District. Almost inevitably the reason given is that dogs create an increase in cleaning efforts and are generally unhygienic, the reality though is simply that a lot of people simply do not like dogs and will not have them in their own home – there own home being a B & B or a cottage even if they are not exactly living there.
For accommodation owners not to allow pets in to their properties actually makes little sense. Primarily they are throwing away money; not only can you charge extra (I was charged £20 for Mist for a single night at a hotel where my brother in law was recently married!) but more importantly you will attract more guests. Whilst working for the Hoseason cottages group in a previous life we estimated that on average a cottage received 5 extra weeks a year if they took a dog (in the north of England and Scotland) which is significant. Certainly our own cottage in Threlkeld near Keswich has sold out this year from Easter to October and we of course accept dogs.
Secondly the myth is put out that dog owners tend to leave properties a mess – not true. In my experience owners of dogs are extremely conscious of how they leave places and ‘tidy’ up more than most. Like ourselves people are very grateful to the accommodation owner for accepting their little pooch and are determined not to ruin it for others by succumbing to the doggy sterotype and leaving the place a mess. However dogs can and often do leave an odour (particularly on carpets) but my suggestion here is to have special rooms in B & B’s and hotels reserved for dog owners and if you do have carpets where a dog goes in cottages then a good clean every few weeks should do the trick (better still have hard floors with rugs)
Not that Mist herself is bothered – she would rather sleep in the car, or tent or just come home than in someone else’s territory. During the night she snuffles at the door and like my old collie Bracken, try and make a ‘break for freedom’. Outside is what it is about for her and at least if she is left in the car we can not go anywhere without her knowing. Mentioning Bracken reminds me of her own breaks for freedom whilst staying in a tent and my own efforts trying to recover her from some remote Scottish mountain in the pitch black. Mist likes tents, not sure I like being in one with her so much!
There is a more annoying consequence of B & Bs, in particular, not allowing dogs and that comes on long distance trails such as the Coast to Coast or Dalesway. More remote villages and hamlets may have only one or two options of places to stay and if they do not accept dogs you can be well and truly stuffed. At best it makes planning a logistical nightmare, at worst strapping a tent to your back makes the whole affair considerably more difficult. I am trying to put together dog friendly accommodation on the Where2walk long distance walks sections as, without doubt, more and more people want to venture in to the hills with them. I can only hope more will accept dogs as time passes but not really holding my breath.
Mist herself has had a fantastic summer (the rain does not bother her one jot) with the highlights being her Scottish trip to Ullapool, a climb with the family up Scafell Pike, a great day in Dufton in the Pennines and a recent trip up Pen y Ghent. We have also been over to the Yorkshire Moors a lot over the summer, a great area for walking!
Mist in Ullapool. July 2012
Dogs on Leads. May 2012
Mist on the Dales Way. March 2012
Mist, Snow & the Langdales. Feb 2012
Winter Woes Dec 2011
Frollicking around Eskdale Oct 2011
Mist’s Summer Frolics Sept 2011
Mist Heads North July 2011
Early summer stay in Wasdale. May 2011
Mist & the outdoors in Spring. Apr 2011
Training Mist. Mar 2011
Pleasures & Problems. Jan 2011
Early Days of Mist, October 2010