A last- minute holiday in Devon with the dog could be more rewarding than you think. You could learn a lot from your four-legged friend. He may not be able to string a sentence together but his actions will certainly speak louder than words. Follow some of his examples and this could be one of the most rewarding West Country holidays you ever experience!
Slow down, take your time, enjoy the ride - Devon will be worth it
Your doggie will certainly enjoy the ride. You may see miles and miles of dreary road ahead of you but your dog will probably have his head stuck out of the window, taking in all those different smells and soaking in the passing scenery. He will be excited by the simple things such as the wind blowing through his fur. He will have no expectations about where he is heading, he will simply live in the moment. When you expect too much from your holiday you set yourself up for disappointments, frustration and even depression. If you simply allow your mind to enjoy the views, the Devon cottage, the peace…you will not be disheartened if those happy bits you rated so highly do not live up to their promise.
The possibilities are limitless
How much time does your dog waste on holiday? Does he lie in bed all day? Does he sit in front of the telly for hours? Nope, your pet will factor in a good amount of play. You only have to mutter the word ‘walkies’ and he will go crazy with excitement because he wants to explore those wide- open spaces. So, go experience that same excitement, you are on holiday, you are somewhere new, look on this as an adventure. What lovely things are waiting for you around every corner? Go see…
Raise your self-esteem in beautiful Devon
For your doggie, ‘walkies’ is about discovery but it is also about exercise. Yes, a holiday should certainly be relaxed but a bit of exercise will keep those stress levels down. And there are just so many choices of where to walk when you're on holiday. Anywhere you stay in Devom will be near a beach, either in the south or north of the county. There are beaches where dogs are permitted although mostly they are forbidden from May until September on the main family beaches. The coastal walks in Devon are magnificent. Just seeing the views makes them worthwhile. There is a lovely walk from Beer to picturesque Branscombe via the Sea Shanty Beach Cafe, or travelling eastwards to Seaton and its pebble beach. Read more about dog-friendly Devon.
Why not crank ‘walkies’ up a bit? Make them more fun by grabbing the lead and going for a little jog or a slow cycle ride. You could even pop on the roller skates and glide along next to your dog, the perfect way to lift depression and great fun too! “No, I couldn’t possibly do that, people would laugh” I hear you say. Look at your dog, does he care about what people think when he misses his balance and rolls over in the mud? Try to focus your holiday around doing things that you enjoy rather than things you cannot do for fear of being judged. Whenever you praise you dog, notice how he wags his tail in appreciation. Now it is time for you to wag your tail, go praise yourself for all the things you do which push you out of your comfort zone. You will find your confidence increasing more and more.
The elixir of life - learn from your dog
If all that fresh sea air in Devon and exercise leaves you and your dog panting for a drink, head to the nearest watering hole. No, this is not an excuse to prop up the bar all afternoon. No doubt you will ask for a bowl of water for the dog but you should also ask for a glass of water for yourself! Yes, water is the perfect tonic for dehydration. Notice how your pet has a natural instinct to down the stuff as and when required. This is a great reminder for you to drink more H2O and especially on a hot summer's day. Not only will it quench your thirst, it will also help to curb the appetite when consumed just before a meal. Yes, you are on holiday and you are allowed a few treats but that does not mean that you can eat anything and everything for the duration of your stay. Notice how your dog controls his hunger, he stops eating when he is full. Likewise, you can listen to your body, it takes around 20 minutes for the brain to register fullness, so eat slowly, enjoy your meal and stop when that feeling of hunger has passed. Now that's a challenge during a break away in Devon. Thank goodness for self-catering holidays; at least it is easier to keep away from temptation in your own holiday home.
Your face says more than your voice, so choose to smile
And finally…dogs love unconditionally, they wag their tails in utter joy at the sight of your face even if you have just told them off. How long does your dog stay mad with you if you accidentally step on his tail…ten seconds tops. This means forgiving your fellow holiday guests for their shortcomings and showing love and appreciation for the time that you spend together. If you fall out over something whilst away, take a leaf from your dog’s book entitled ‘Great Walks in Devon’ and give them a big smile rather than a great big piece of your mind…