I guess we should tell you about one half of our adventure gang.
Tilly and Belle, Hank the Hymer’s trusty houndy companions have been a fixture in our family for the past 10 years. Tilly came first, she’s an ex-racing Greyhound who was thankfully given up for rescue at 2-3yrs old as she failed miserably at greyhound racing! She was born on July 2nd 2006 in Ireland but was rescued by us at Xmas 2008. She is superstar, she absolutely loves people, as anyone who has met her will know, she’s super happy, loves going anywhere in Hank and given that she’s over 12 yrs old still has plenty of get up and go!
Bellina or Belle as we call her, especially when she’s naughty which given she a Lurcher is fairly frequently, had a bit of a rubbish life before she came to us back in May 2008. We believe she had lived as a stray, obviously been hit about and abused, her scars and missing ear tip are proof of that, she also had a litter before she was 1yr old and had them taken away, pretty rubbish start in life!! When we first saw her she was being fostered in West Wales and was just a cowering ball of fur that obviously hated men, she growled at me whenever I approached her. We certainly are glad we rescued her though as it was definately her last chance, she had bounced through a few homes, biting dogs and people so we took a chance, introduced her to Tilly, they seemed to get on and hey presto 10yrs later they are like sisters!!
Claire and myself had been campers for years and had enjoyed lots of trips with our previous greyhound Beauty so having both Tilly and Belle by early summer 2008 we set them off on an outdoor lifestyle they have come to adore. Back then we used a tent, not a huge one but enough for us two, the houndies, their stuff and enough food to keep them going for the trip. Fast forward through a handful of tent upgrades to eventually ending up with a lovely canvas Bell tent.
It was a lovely space to use but logistics of drying it out, we do live in Wales, it rains A LOT, meant that we just didnt use the Bell tent as much as we could so we decided a van was the way to go, hence the leap into Hank our Classic Hymer.
As Tilly and Belle are starting to age we are having to adjust our trips, walks are that little bit shorter, we try to manage Tilly running full speed as she’s always a bit stiff afterwards and struggles moving around in Hank but nevertheless they love going away. In just over 2 years of vanlife we’ve been on loads of trips and they’ve been to France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany and Spain along with exploring the UK. Their Pet Passports are well used!