As we prepared for our holiday to parents on the Orkney Isles we knew we would need to take tons of treats, toys, water and food to keep Bella, our 9 month old Labrador puppy entertained throughout the 15 hour journey and 10 day stay. I must have spent a small fortune at a variety of pet shops and the car boot had more doggy stuff in it than it had any human belongings!

Bella is quite spoilt (although well behaved most of the time!) and we wouldn’t dream of putting her in the boot, so instead we kitted out the whole of the back seats with blankets, cushions and toys so that she could be as comfy as possible while safely strapped in with her puppy seatbelt.

Throughout the whole journey Bella was as good as gold and didn’t make a sound (except for barking at one cyclist who had caught her interest).  She slept most of the way, and the rest of the time she was looking out of the window at the sea views.  She particularly enjoyed stopping at the service stations because everyone that saw her wanted a cuddle and there were lots of new smells and sounds for her to enjoy.

The ferry crossing was particularly interesting once she had got over the initial scary noises coming from the engines and the vehicles being loaded, and the steep stairs she had to negotiate before getting to the top deck. There were lots of people to watch and loads of weird and wonderful new things to see as the boat sailed through Scapa Flow, she even made a friend to keep her company!

On arrival Bella was beside herself with excitement and she loved her first trip to the beach, she quickly made friends with Rebekah, Mum and Dad’s Rhodesian Ridgeback who she hadn’t seen since she was around 3 months old, and she loved playing in the large garden right next to the sea.

She settled in really well and was surprisingly well behaved; Bella quite often gets over-excited with new situations but she had adapted to her new temporary home quite well.

On the second day we were looking forward to our roast beef dinner and both dogs were being very good while dinner was dished up, although as we sat down to eat the almighty clash coming from the kitchen confirmed that something wasn’t quite right.

We ran through to make sure the dogs were OK and were shocked to see Bella looking really guilty in the corner of the lounge with the remains of the beef joint safely locked in her jaws!  It was nearly the size of her head but she wasn’t keen on letting it go, although with some gentle persuasion she reluctantly caved and let Dad take it from her.

Although we felt extremely embarrassed, it was also quite funny to think of our dear, sweet Bella finding such treasure freely available and within her reach on the kitchen side, and I’d have loved to have seen her little face the moment she thought all of her Christmas’s had come at once!  Needless to say she spent the rest of the mealtime in the dining room with us where we could see her, and we all made sure that the house was free of temptations from then on!

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