Birthday Boy Special – Charlie gets a say!

This was me when I was little, I don't think I've put any weight on - I'm just big boned!

Happy birthday to me!

Happy birthday to me!

Yes Charlie fans it’s my birthday today and to celebrate reaching the ripe old age of 9 years, Mum and Dad have let me do my own blog post – here goes (I’m dictating this while Mum types it as I’m not great with a keyboard and tried to chase the mouse).

I slept really well last night, to be fair I do every night. I don’t know what Mum and Dad are on about when they talk about the snoring in the van, I never hear any. I get them to put my bed between the two front seats every night, so I can sleep under Mum and Dad like in bunk beds. When I woke this morning Dad asked me what I wanted for breakfast, but they had no steak or bones so I made do with some dog meat and biscuits.

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After breakfast I went for a play in the leaves while Mum and Dad sorted out the water stuff in Zagan – filling and emptying tanks. I love rustling along in them, always have. Some of them here are almost as big as me.

This morning's play in the leaves
This morning’s play in the leaves

Once we set off driving I’m kept in the back of the van by a divider – I’ve managed to get around it a few times but Mum always shouts at me and makes we go back, something about getting under pedals?

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I used to sit on the bench behind Dad so could I look over his shoulder at where we were going, but now I’m getting on a bit I can’t jump up and down off the bench on my own, so I stay on the floor where I can get to my water on longer runs. We stopped after about 15 minutes of driving today though, and I got out to have a look around. We were in La Roque Gageac (or Roughough-Snuffle-Rouff in dog-tongue) and it was really pretty, yellow brick houses lining the river with caves in the cliff face above. It was very, very windy – those big leaves really hurt when they hit you – I had to stifle a laugh as one hit Dad in the face, the bog oaf! After a quick wander along the river we headed off again – after a gravy bone.

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La Roque Gageac
I hope Mum & Dad don't get any ideas!
I hope Mum & Dad don’t get any ideas!

We were going to drive through Beynac, I remember that place as when we stopped there before Mum was terrified because we ‘wild camped’ for the first time. She thought we’d all be killed in our sleep and hardly slept – personally I slept really well. As we got near Dad turned the van around and they both started to disagree with the satnav, something about a ‘Deviation’?

You can't get to Beynac unless you can get through these blocks!
You can’t get to Beynac unless you can get through these blocks!

We drove around for ages along narrow roads, all the time following signs instead of satnav which kept moaning we were going the wrong way, until we ended up at the car park we slept in last time. It’s now four years and a day since we were last there and it seems that Mum isn’t worried about the car park any more. As I’d already sniffed the place before, I chose to have a nap while Mum and Dad went for a look around.

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Mum and Dad in Beynac
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Me with them four years and one day ago – it was warmer then!
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Dad is glad he was told to turn around, Zagan couldn’t have breathed in enough to fit through there!

We all had some food when they got back, I got more dog meat, a bit of cheese and a slice of apple – I can tell it’s my birthday, I normally only get biscuits for lunch as they keep telling me I am on a diet!

This was me when I was little, I don't think I've put any weight on - I'm just big boned!
This was me when I was younger, I don’t think I’ve put any weight on – I’m just big boned!

We set off again and drove to a place by the river that sells food and rents canoes, but it was all shut up and didn’t look great so we carried on to the next parking place. This one was in St Cyprien (N44.86858, E1.04380 – although I have no idea what these numbers mean!) which is a small town and looked just right for us. We parked up and went for a look around the old town.

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Look closely, Zagan is in the left corner!
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I translated the signs around the town for Dad telling him what this place used to be like at the turn of the century
Glad satnav didn't want us to go through the old town!
Glad satnav didn’t want us to go through the old town!

From the signs in the shop windows it looks like Monday is the main day that the shops are closed and this seems to be two weeks that people take off as holiday as little hand-written notices dashed Mum and Dad’s hopes of having a meal out tonight. Still it means I’ll get to eat some of whatever they are having as they can’t resist it when I look super cute and beg for their food (diet? hah!).

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Dad’s reading guide books now to decide where we go next. I hope we head to the seaside as there are loads of tasty things to sniff and eat there.  Mum has been out to the local pharmacy and bought me a birthday present – I’m such a lucky, pampered pooch.

Special flea treatment to keep me alive in the south of France!
Special flea treatment to keep me alive in the south of France!

Charlie x


  1. Happy Birthday Charlie! We love the blogs .We hope to be having a go at motor homing ourselves! You lot are such an inspiration !

  2. Happy birthday Charlie. You’re a lucky boy to be enjoying your travels. Loving the blog. Can wait til we can give up the rat race. Just a couple more years and I hope we are dong the same as you are.

    • Nah Marcus, still bust. What do we do? Well, last time out we watched about 20 hours of TV in 2 years, and we fell out of the habit of watching TV as such, although we do have a stash of TV series and films we watch on our laptop (the screen is as big as the TV as it’s closer to us). We read, plan, talk, cook, eat, drink (more me than Ju!), walk, jog, wash, listen to music and, when we pull our fingers out, we’ll study. Incredible what you can find to do… Cheers, Jay

  3. Hi Charlie I am hoping to be a motorhome dog, when dad buys the motorhome. We practice travelling to lots of places. I really like being with mum and dad all day. Do all countries have poop bins. Mum caries the bags and we sometimes look for ages. Any tips about how to make friends with foreign dogs , they seem to bark the same language.Try and let mum and dad let you blog again.
    Cleo Guest

    • Hi Cleo

      Bins? What are they? I’ve noticed my Nutcase Dad bending over to pick up my poop all the time, what’s that all about? Thinking about it he does sometimes have to carry a bag for miles… There’s also a weird thing about them when they find boxes full of bags in some towns, the nicer ones in France and Germany, and they pop a stash of them away for later use!

      Sniffs, Charlie x

  4. Happy birthday, Charlie! You are a good blogger. Loved reading the blog today! Ask mum and dad to do it now and again… They might say yes!

  5. Happy Birthday Charlie. I hope you had time to paws and think about all the adventures you have been on the last few years and all those sticks you have found?

  6. Charlie, you have so much influence that we just have to get a dog before we go away on our tour in a van. Essential packing and company! And my French is not too good so I will need a doggy translator too

  7. Hey Charlie! Happy Birthday – I know it’s a bit late but I was barred from computer use for a few days, something about not chewing cables? My mum says I have to pay attention to what you do on your travels cos we’re going to get a big van and she wants me to look and learn from you about how to travel. I think you must be really amazing understanding all that French – I’m still trying to understand ‘leave, come here and sometimes my mum makes a funny noise when I taste things? That never ends well. Anyway, hope your Birthday was grand, I’m already really excited to read your next blog – mum’s using that ‘enough’ word so I better go!


  8. Great stories no wonder you’re so popular can’t thank you enough hi Charlie we are definitely fans of you little boy xxxxxx

  9. Hello – great blog!

    I’m off round Europe for five months with my dog and wondered whether you have any advice on pet insurance and feeding. Honey eats Nature Diet, a wet food, at home – kibble is the only thing in existence she won’t eat.

    I can’t stuff the van with five months worth and wondered what you do for Charlie as I know you’re not supposed to keep changing their food.

    Also, any recs for pet insurance?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Hi Mandy, sounds good! There is no insurance we know of which will cover you. We self insure. Charlie also ate a specific food at home, but on the road he eats pretty much anything we get for him. Changing food doesn’t seem to be the problem we thought it would be. Have fun, cheers, Jay

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