Our team of Canine Critics 2020 may not have got up to much last year, with lockdown putting everyone’s plans on hold, but they still have plenty to talk about!
We were curious to find out more about all our favourite pups so we have interviewed each of these top dogs to see what they’ve been up to during lockdown and what they are hoping to do once lockdown is over.
In this Q&A, we’ve put the wonderful Talyn of @talyns_tale in the spotlight!
Born in the Netherlands, Talyn made the trip over to his forever home in the UK and now lives in Norfolk with his two pup parents and three feline best friends. Talyn is a Norwegian Lundehund, also known as the ‘puffin dog’ as they were bred long ago to hunt puffins, and have even evolved an extra, sixth toe on each foot for better grip when navigating slippery rocks.
The Norwegian Lundehund is an exceptionally rare breed that’s believed to have existed since the Stone Age – there are only around 1,500 to 2,000 of these dogs in the world. His two mums both work as Vikings and bring the past alive to children at schools; as this ancient breed is known to have lived alongside Vikings, Talyn was the perfect addition to this history-loving family!
Read on to find out all about Talyn’s Viking family, how he stays active while indoors, and his ‘must-haves’ when searching for a holiday cottage.
How did you join your new family?
Well, my hoomans think they are Vikings. They even get paid for it! They dress up in funny clothes and teach people about living in the Viking times, and when it came time to get another fur baby, they wanted a real Viking dog to help them. So here I am!
What was the best thing about your adventurous trip from the Netherlands to the UK?
I absolutely love car rides – we took the Eurotunnel – although I do have to admit that I fall asleep quite quickly, especially when I am snuggled on somebody’s lap.
What tips do you have for anyone looking to welcome a new dog into their pack?
Homework! My mum spent nearly 2 years researching my breed before deciding to dedicate herself to me. What level of exercise, grooming, and feeding they need, and do they fit in with your lifestyle?
Where did you like to sleep when you first entered your new home? And did you sleep alone or with your pup-parents?
When I first arrived at our bungalow they had my travel crate set up as my bed, but I was used to being with my sister and wanted someone to snuggle up with, so I liked sleeping on the bed with my paw-rents. My hoomans didn’t mind.
What was the first thing you fell in love with in your new local area?
Where do I start? We live in the countryside and there are so, so, so many fields! My cat brother, Jormi, also comes on walks with us and people think it’s funny when they see us walking together. I love the farmers’ fields because I can chase the birds and the rabbits. But then again, I love the woods because I can chase the squirrels. And if there aren’t any of those around then I can chase my brother! Basically, I’m all about chasing things.
Talyn and Jormi on a walk in Thetford Forest
What’s your go-to local location for walkies?
I think my favourite place is Thetford Forest. It’s so big and there are so many things to sniff. I can go off lead and my Dutch mum can use her mobility scooter on the wide tracks.
What’s your favourite room in your house, and why?
Oh, that has to be our front room! It has a fireplace and my bed is right in front of it.
Who rules the roost at home?
That would be Mitten. She is the oldest cat of four at our house and mum says she’s a hundred and eleventy-million years old (16). She can be really scary. I try to make friends and play with her - whenever I see her, I fall over on my side and wiggle my whole body at her - but she doesn’t seem to get it.
What's your favourite thing about ‘staying at home’?
Luckily both my mums work from home; their work has changed ever since lockdown. The hooman pups are at home instead of school at the moment too, so we do zoomies! When mum said we were doing zoomies I thought “I KNOW HOW TO DO THAT!” and I ran around the house like a crazy demon. Mum said that this is a different kind of zoomies.
What are your three top tips on keeping entertained while indoors?
- Play with your best friend!
- Learn new things for treats! (This is the best way to get treats!)
- Play puzzles and licky mats! (More treats! Did I mention I really like treats?)
What new tips or tricks have you learnt during the lockdowns over the past year?
My hoomans have been teaching me to retrieve my favourite toy, Sven the Puffin. We even went to the beach to practise for it!
What are you most looking forward to doing once lockdown lifts?
I am looking forward to the day I can go and visit a school with my hoomans! This will be in the future when I am a bit older.
What do you first look for when booking a dog-friendly cottage?
As my Dutch mum is disabled, it needs to be disabled-friendly. The other thing that is important to us is having access to an enclosed garden, so I can run around worry-free.
Are there any must-haves from a property?
Enclosed garden for sure. We like to be on one level if possible. Also a fireplace, oh I do love lying in front of the fire! One of my mums loves having a bath, so it’s great if there is a bath, and of course Wi-Fi so I can show all my friends what I am up to.
Where in the UK would you and your hoomans most love to visit in the next year, and why?
Scotland! The Isle of Skye! To my paw-rents, Scotland is a special place. It was their first holiday together 7 years ago, and they would very much like to go back with me.
They have never been to the Isle of Skye and one of my mums is obsessed with mountains (perhaps because she’s from The Netherlands which is very flat). I have never seen a mountain either, even though I am supposed to be a cliff-climbing dog. But I too am from The Netherlands. No mountains there, just lots of cows, tulips, and flat, flat countryside!
We also love North Wales and Cornwall (do you notice a theme here?). We found a Canine Cottage that was called “Puffins’ Nest”! Well, I simply have to go there don’t I? I am super excited to be exploring the UK and tell you all about the places, walks, and sniffs we find!
Holidays in the UK
Like the idea of a mountain escape like Talyn? Discover Snowdonia, the Peak District or head to the Highlands for an unforgettable walking holiday with your four-pawed friend.
No matter what kind of break you're planning, get inspired by browsing our full collection of dog-friendly cottages in the UK.
Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing,
please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.