Pass-pawt! Meet the globetrotting Jack Russell who’s toured Europe and even sailed to the Caribbean
Talk about a pass-pawt! Here’s the globetrotting dog who’s toured Europe and even sailed to the Caribbean.
Skipper, the 10-year-old Jack Russell, has sailed a 54ft yacht to the Caribbean, sat on a Harley Davidson at a French biker festival and even been banned from the Mount Blanc boules competition for interfering with the balls.
He and his travelling partner Jon Taylor, 48, from Weston-under-Lizard, Shropshire, have recently returned from their latest holiday, a nine-week European tour by van that took in France, Switzerland, Italy, Andorra and Spain.
Jon, a property developer, said: “He’s a fantastic travelling companion.
“He’ll eat anything – including a nice bit of steak – and gets on with everyone.
“When we were in the Caribbean he even caught lobster with his bare teeth.
“A lot of people wouldn’t consider taking their dog everywhere but Skipper showed he could easily adapt to any situation from the moment I had him.”
Skipper’s first venture abroad came not long after Jack had taken him on as a puppy when the pair flew to the Canary Islands in 2008.
From there they sailed on Jon’s 54ft Hallberg-Rassy yacht to Rodney Bay in the Caribbean island of St Lucia.
Jon said: “Skipper took to travelling like a duck to water.
“He loved it straight away.
“I put a patch of astro-turf around the mast for him to do his business and he was right at home.
“Because the yacht was a decent size he had plenty of room to stretch his legs and he absolutely loved the water.
“He taught himself how to catch lobsters with his teeth and he had a go on a paddle board. I’ve struggled to get him off it since.”
In 2011, the duo embarked on a boat trip from Falmouth to the Azores and spent five months sailing around the coast of Portugal.
This summer they ditched the yacht and loaded up a silver VW Camper van for a European adventure.
Accompanied by Jon’s partner, Frances, the intrepid travellers went through the Channel Tunnel and passed through the champagne region of France before heading into Switzerland and on to Mont Blanc.
Jon said: “He caused a few problems during the local boules competition.
“At one point he ran onto the playing area and ended up getting banned for interfering with play.
“They take it very seriously over there but I think they saw the funny side of it.”
Skipper then proved a star turn at a biker rally in the French beach town of Cap d’Agde, posing for pictures with bikers while sitting on a Harley.
He also fetched some holy water in Lourdes, chased around after birds of prey at a medieval festival in Andorra and ran around the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
But despite all the fun, travelling with Skipper can be expensive and often complicated.
During flights Skipper is placed in the hold at a cost £750 for a flight to the Canary Islands and over £1,000 for transatlantic.
Before departing he is inspected at St George’s Vets in Wolverhampton where any injections that are required are also administered.
He then has to be looked at again on his return to the UK. For long haul flights a dog passport is required.
Jon said: “When we sailed to St Lucia he couldn’t get off the boat until a local vet had come and given him the once over.
“It was the same every time we sailed into a new port. It’s a strange situation as he is classed as a livestock import and once he sets foot on land he is deemed a resident of that particular country.
“In other places, such as Morocco, he stays on the boat because he has to go in quarantine if he enters the country.
“It is a costly and time consuming process so I tend to research the places we plan to visit.”
It’s not stopped Jon though, who’s now planning a tour of Scandinavia on a large adventure motorbike.
He said: “He is like an extension to my family and he’ll always be part of my travel plans.
“We’ll need to get a special box made for him so he can fit on the motorbike and if it goes well then who knows, maybe we’ll take on Route 66.”