Meet the ever-smiling and forever strokable Filey, a border collie cross who would be the first to admit that she loves nothing more than snuggling up on the sofa and watching TV with her humans. Living in Dorset, though, she’s not averse to adventure either and, when the chance came for a holiday escapade in Fife, she jumped at the chance. Ever since, she’s been indefatigable in her search of new sniffs so far north of her home.
Filey was the worthy winner of our ‘Helper’ category at the 2020 Canine Critics’ Awards due to her tireless work as a therapy dog for children in education with anxiety. Undoubtedly, she enjoys her job and her humans can be proud of the amount of reassurance she brings the children of South West England, but every dog needs a vacation and, right now, it’s time for Filey’s.
Read on to find out about Filey’s Scottish sabbatical.
I could not believe my eyes when I arrived and realised where I was staying! My humans had chosen accommodation right on the beach! Clearly, I must have been a very good girl this year.
The flat was on the second storey and it took my people no time at all to follow the arrival instructions and get us inside. I checked out my new pad immediately and discovered not one but two huge windows looking out onto the beach, so even when I was inside, I could still get my tail wagging by admiring the view from the lounge and bedroom.
The kitchen was a perfect size for my meals to be prepared (as I was on holiday, I got to savour the local cuisine along with the rest of the family) with an oven, hob, fridge/freezer, toaster and slow cooker. There was even a dishwasher, so I didn’t have to lick all the plates clean (joke! I only get to do that at home when no one’s looking). The bathroom is a place I avoid as it normally means me getting a shower, which I hate, but I did hear the bipeds exclaim in delight at the underfloor heating and large shower. Apparently, there was some lovely smelling soap left as a gift too. They also said the bed was very comfortable; I offered to confirm this by checking it out myself but was told I was not allowed - it was lucky I had brought my own.
We'd had a long journey that day so after a quick walk on the beach, conveniently lit by streetlights, we ordered a takeaway from the local chippy, which I would highly recommend. Their menu was extensive including local delights such as battered haggis and battered pizza! One of my humans then read me a story in the comfy living room and we drifted off to sleep listening to the relaxing sound of the gently rolling waves.
We headed to the village butcher the next morning which is well worth a visit. There was so much choice, it was excellent quality and the sapiens seemed very happy with the price. After fuelling up on a very Scottish breakfast, we began to explore the Fife coastline. My bipeds enjoy hunting for Geocaches and there were sooooo many to find! We walked from our holiday home along the coast to Ravenscraig Castle. Although it is a ruin, there is still a lot to see, and the battlements and other structures along the coastline gave us all plenty to explore. From one of the towers, we watched a seal (we called him Ron) leaping out of the water and then settle on a rock for a rest. There were plenty of birds to see too and lots of smells to keep me busy. In the other direction is Pettycur Beach which, with it being a beach, I was very pleased with. What was even better was that, when we got home from the beaches we visited, there was always our beach to play on too!
The local dogs were all very friendly and the local human community kept it very clean too. One day, the tide was so far out, we picked mussels from the rocks and cooked them up for dinner - they were very tasty. The holiday home conveniently had an automatic vacuum to follow me around and suck up all of the sand that I left behind (I have been known to create mini sandcastles even after a good rinse).
One day, we came away from the coast and visited a different type of water, Loch Leven. It was a beautiful walk with lots to sniff and see. We also spent time at the RSPB nature reserve there. As well as the world’s first bumblebee sanctuary (which the humans spent a while discussing whilst I had a good roll), we spotted pink-footed geese, lapwings, mandarin ducks and a red squirrel which we all got very excited about! I didn’t realise squirrels came in different colours and was told that I was not allowed to chase the red ones - just as well my lead was there to guide me.
On the way home, we visited some huge horses in Falkirk. They weren’t like the horses I was used to as it was only their heads and they moved less. They didn’t even jump when I barked at them! We got to go right up to them, and they posed for some photos with us. They were called The Kelpies.
There was so much to see and do, we are already planning our return trip to Providence House with its beautiful views and ideal location.
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