We booked our February half term holiday to the Lake District last year, just before we found out that our new puppy would be arriving into the world in autumn and would be ready for us to take home just after Christmas. We had been hoping for a spring or summer due-date so we’d have a bit more time to focus on getting our furry bundle settled in, but it seems Mr Jones and I are destined to have everything major in our life happen at/near Christmas (baby, house move, freelance career, now pup). Anyway, the breeder assured us that Shih Tzus adapt easily to their new surroundings and in fact it’s best to just get on with your lives as before, and simply include them in it.
Although Lillie-Mae has never had a pet before (apart from her tank of fish, and looking after the school guinea pig for a fortnight during the summer holiday), and Mr Jones and I haven’t had dogs since we were little, we’re quite a laid back family so we hoped it would work out for us… We planned on adopting the same mentality as we had when Lillie-Mae was born, and although Daisy is a fair bit hairier (making her bum a bit trickier to clean), puppies are not that dissimilar to babies and toddlers…
Daisy certainly become one of the family quite quickly after her arrival on New Year’s Eve, but as we made the first half of the journey up to Cumbria after the last day of school, and stopped at a Stafford motel for the night, we were a tiny bit nervous: Daisy was shaking with fear in the room, she had a couple of accidents, then wouldn’t leave the bathroom all night; and the next morning she was more than a little cautious of the traffic noise in the services as we set off for the second half of the journey…
But when we arrived in our favourite part of the country, the beautiful Borrowdale Valley, in the afternoon, and settled into our cottage, Daisy almost immediately transformed into a different dog: happy, confident and ready to explore. She loved playing in the garden, trotting round the village, and (to our shock and amazement) bounding up the mountains like she was a sheepdog. And when we returned back to the cottage after a long day walking through the muddy fields and hills each day, Daisy was rather chilled out about being plopped into the sink for a wash, having a rub dry, and warming herself up in front of the roaring fire.
This holiday was pure magic – it definitely helped seal our bond, and the four of us are a very happy family, and ready for our next adventure.
Daisy chooses possibly the longest stick in the garden to play fetch
Me and my girls
A favourite spot for drawing and crafting
Daisy proudly trotting along with Mr Jones and Lillie-Mae
The first thing Lillie-Mae did when we arrived at the cottage: a quick sketch of the garden, the cottage opposite and a mountain behind
Lillie-Mae was so proud when she was allowed to take the lead, though we can all see who’s leading the way…
My beautiful family (Daisy might be having a rest, but Lillie-Mae’s not even the slightest bit out of breath after climbing a mountain!)
Our home for the week
Daisy bags the best spot in the house after her bath