Can we have the Bill, please?

When the maid and chauffeur first mentioned Portland Bill, I thought they meant the chap who came round to clean our windows.
But no! It’s an unusual little outpost on the Dorset coast, easily accessed from the seaside town of Weymouth, and well worth a visit.

These photographs looking towards Weymouth from the Isle of Portland were taken on a glorious summer’s day, when the Eternal Cloud Painter was delicately etching mares’ tails across an azure sky.

The weather was perfect so we decided to take a trip to Portland, and jumped into the car – a trip we wouldn’t have made if we’d still had our motorhome, due to having to pack/unpack things away to make the journey from the Club Listed Site (194 50), Blagdon Fruit Farm at Chickerell.

The stunning views from PortlandIt was the day of the Isle of Portland’s weekly market, which was busy, with plenty of parking, lots to see, and open to dogs to wander around too. The outdoor market ends for the summer on Tuesday, 23 September, and there are buses from Weymouth.

In the evening we returned to Portland for a drive to Portland Bill, the southernmost tip of the island, and soak up some of the atmosphere. There is a more rugged feel to Portland Bill, which the maid thought resembled the Falkland Islands (she’s never been) due to its barren landscape, inhospitable coastline and crashing waves, and which seemed a world away from the gentle bay and welcoming beach of Weymouth.

Looking across to WeymouthJust one thing marred our trip to one of our favourite seaside haunts, and it’s something that could affect many canine caravanning companions. One evening the maid noticed that Kizzy had some kind of lump under her eye, and, after putting on her glasses (the maid, that is, not Kizzy) realised that it was a bloated tick.

These little horrors latch themselves on to us (and on to humans too, sometimes) and suck our blood, often causing disease and infection if left untreated. So it was down to the nearest supermarket for some tick drops which did their job overnight. Ticks are truly the stuff of nightmares because even though the tick was dead and its body had fallen off, its mandibles were left in Kizzy’s face, so she then had to go to a very kind Weymouth vet who removed the mouthparts with a special instrument – painless for Kizzy, who was a good girl while all this was going on, and resulted in the removal of something that could have caused a nasty infection, especially in such a delicate area beneath the eye.

Kizzy is fine after her brush with a tickThis time of year offers ideal opportunities for ticks to lurk in the long grass and attach themselves to their walking meal as we brush past. A recent study revealed that one in three dogs in the UK have ticks, so we all need to be vigilant when out and about on holiday.

So please be warned – buy your chum a tick collar or, as the maid and chauffeur did, buy a tick removal device from your vet, and maybe seek some advice from your local surgery before you travel.

Next time, I’m hoping to have news of our next, and sadly last, week away in 2016. Tick free, I hope!

Dog Blog Travelling terrier Ted, together with his maid and chauffeur, visit campsites around the UK with Milly the caravan in tow. Ted offers tips for places to stay and shares some of his holiday capers. Read other posts by this author