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  • Writer's pictureNeil Roberts

A dog's life is a great life

We have three Cockapoos; Teddy and Poppy are 3 years old and Bounty is hitting 2 this month. We always wanted Cockapoos as not only are they cute and cuddly but they also don’t shed their hair 😊

We got Teddy and Poppy in UK just before Covid hit, which turned into blessing, with all the lockdowns that followed. The following year we bred Poppy with another local Cockapoo and 3 weeks later, she gave us a beautiful litter of 9 puppies. Kat had always set her heart on having a brown dog at some point. So not only were there 2 brown puppies in the litter but when it came to moving them on to new homes, these were the last two left. We knew having 4 dogs would be too much but agreed that 3 may be liveable. So the last one left would become part of our family and Bounty became the third addition to the pack.

Even before we moved to Czech to live, the pack had already been introduced to Czech life as we’d always brought them with us for our 3-week visits previously. Dogs are just as popular in Czech as they are in UK, however they are viewed here in a completely different way. Larger breeds are favoured here, Alsatians, Labradors, Boxers etc. as dogs are seen more as guard dogs first, family pet second. Therefore, most dogs live in the garden during the day, roaming the garden borders and barking at anyone that walks/cycles past. Many of them don’t even come into the house overnight, as they have their own crate outside for sleep. This is hard to see during the Winter when -the temperatures can get as low as -15C at night. The number of garden dogs in our area came as a bit of a shock to our little pack as we walked round the neighbourhood as there was always a dog in every garden waiting to say “hello” or reach them through the fence in less friendly terms.

A year later from our big move, our fluff pack are settled in. Neighbouring conversations with other dogs are just the norm now and they ignore most of them. Plus, to be fair when left to their own devices in our garden, they react the same way as other dogs to anyone that walks/cycles past, barking and being defensive of their own patch. They also love the nature here, from walking up the mountains with us to playing in the river nearby. There are so many animal smells for them to take in, they are very excitable on most walks. From the chickens, cats and dogs that seem to be in every house, ducks and other birds by the river to mice and various rodents in the fields and deer running free around the local woods and fields, there is a lot for them to take in.

Tips of owning dogs in EU

1. EU passport We still travel back to UK once a year and it’s so much easier with an EU passport. As long they have up-to-date Rabies jabs (lasts for 3 years) and have taken a worming tablet within 48 hrs of crossing the UK border, they breeze through. If they were still on UK passports, they’d need a medical report each, costing up to £150 each, for each journey to Europe from UK. Another farce result of Brexit. EU passports only cost about €50 per dog so much better saving in the long run.

2. Tics They are a menace in Spring/Summer if you live in the countryside. All of a sudden, they are everywhere in when the weather gets warmer. Their bites can cause dogs or humans serious damage if not found in time so prevention is better than cure. For example, we found 4 tics in one day yesterday across two of our dogs so worth them having the tablets.

3. Check rules of national parks Czech parks seem to be fine in general but the national park in Zakopane, Poland for example, wouldn’t let us bring our dogs in even if they stayed on their leads. Some national parks feel that dogs will soil the natural environment even if they are on leads.

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