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ISCP member Rowena’s latest update on life with Cauta, her Romanian street dog.

A journal of our first weekend away…

First hurdle – the car journey. Having taken him for what I hoped was a calming on-lead mooch just before, we hoped he would be all zen like in the back seat. Although he was visibly crestfallen there were no dogs who wanted to play with him in the park, the plan seemed to work. Rather than the usual barking at traffic lights, (how dare my way be impeded – forward motion only slaves, bark, bark, bark) he lay flat out asleep most of the way there.

At the B&B we got a surprise bonus after finding a path winding through the fields, right next to the cottage. Cauta approved. We set off in the early evening to hunt and gather some fish and chips. A highlight was standing in the pouring rain, Cauta sniffing the air nearby, while we watched a purple streaked sunset.

The first night Cauta was understandably anxious. After wolfing down a fiver’s worth of fish he grumbled to get out, inspected the garden and really struggled to settle. We had brought his beds, blankets and various smelly stuff to calm him, and this helped to an extent. But what we didn’t know was that were three other dogs staying at the B&B that night. Woof-a-rama.

A troubled night stumbling in and out with him and his tummy trouble was not the best start to the day. Bleary eyed I took him out again, and noted his recall was also shot to pieces. Back on the long line for you, buster.

Then. The Workshop. Booked many months ago, before Cauta even bundled into our lives, it was the final part of a basic dog handing skills course. Held at the kennel club, it was a new environment for all involved. What we didn’t know was that there was the biggest Bernese mountain dog show other than Crufts (apparently) also taking place that day. In the paddock next to us. And in the hall opposite us there was a Husky and Malamute show. Never in my life have I ever seen so many big dogs all in one place. And we suspect, by the look on his face, neither had Cauta. Suddenly he wasn’t the biggest dog in the class anymore. In fact he looked positively medium sized.

Kev did sterling work hanging out with Cauta while I was in the theory part of the day. And Cauta did sterling work just being in that environment and staying together. It was a long, long day but with many laughs and companionship. By the end Cauta was substituting ‘sit’ for ‘spread-eagle yourself on the floor’ and we knew he had had enough. Back to the B&B and he passed out till the next morning. No 4am loo trips for us. 🙂

The next morning a surprise birthday visit to Kev’s nephew and then home.

We did it! It could have been very different, there were many issues I had imagined which didn’t appear, and challenges that, had I known about beforehand would have never thought Cauta (and us) could have coped with. It was a real team effort and a grounding in how intertwined our lives have now become.


Just a small proportion of our companions for the day!


No reason for this photo. Just because.


Cauta snozzled.