Dogs on holiday in Scilly
The Isles of Scilly are a wonderful holiday destination for dog owners – people have been bringing their favourite pets here for years but it seems to be getting more popular now, with lots of accommodation providers welcoming dog lovers.
We have always accepted dogs in our holiday cottages at Seaways and nearly always it’s been a joy to see dogs and owners enjoying their romps and excitement. Every so often, however, a mishap may occur - I remember on one occasion discovering the dark, hairy family dog had obviously been sleeping in the suddenly dark and hairy double bed for the holiday! In another situation a beautiful, large, sleek, black flat coated retriever arrived with his owners and settled into a cottage. As I went to welcome the couple my (equally beautiful but not quite so sleek) springer cross rushed past me and sank his teeth into Mr Sleek’s flank, leaving two clear puncture marks. Everyone was then springing and cross. ‘Oh no’, the owners yelped, ‘he’s entering best of breed in Crufts next month….’ Suffice to say vet bills were covered and grovelling apologies made but after a couple of days I realised this dog and owners had never left the cottage. The tail end of the story was that my naughty Skerry had to leave St Mary’s for St Martin’s on a little holiday himself before they emerged again. That was a long time ago, and Skerry is nipping the heels of black dogs (always his bête noir) in that great dogs’ home in the sky.
We have a very active Vet Support Group on the Islands, adding vital cash to the practice, which was struggling to remain viable. Fund raising has resulted in a dedicated house and surgery being built for the incumbent vet, with various ongoing events to buy equipment. We have a dog show every summer which gains in popularity each year it has been held, featuring obedience and agility tests; even a dog/owner lookalike competition.
Creature Comforts is run by a couple who provide holiday necessities for dogs – cages, beanbags, towels and bowls. They will deliver the gear for the length of the holiday and only ask for a donation to the Support Group in return. It’s an excellent service and much appreciated by the dog lovers, obviously saving them bringing a huge amount of equipment on the plane or Scillonian III.
From May to the end of September, dogs are not allowed on the main family beaches (Porthcressa, Porthmellon and Old Town) and Tresco ask for leads only but that leaves them plenty of running room on the rest of the Islands.