CAMPING LA FORGE DE SAINTE MARIE – THE DOG BLOG
Pssst…! Listen up Dog…!
Who’s the luckiest dog in the world I ask you? I can’t prove it but I think that the happy hound in question might be moi, the family pet at Camping La Forge de Sainte Marie in the Champagne region. Not only can I call the wonderful landscapes of Thonnance-les-Moulins my home, I have the best walkies on the doorstep (forest, footpaths, streams…) and I get to meet new friends – that’s canine and human – pretty much on a daily basis. By the way, the name’s Myla, aged two, Australian shepherd tricolour.
Next time Human mentions The Kennels while he’s planning a holiday to France, be sure to conjure up your saddest puppy eyes and paw-push this message under his nose. The message that taking you abroad, my friend, isn’t as hard as he thinks. Even if you’re on the other side of the Channel, taking the dog to the pooch paradise that is the French countryside is as easy as un-deux-trois, with just a few formalities and a bit of forward planning. Which is all good news for you (less stressful) and good news for Human too (less expensive than The Kennels and less guilt!).
1 – GET A POOCH PASSPORT
First off, Human needs to ask The Vet – well in advance – about getting your passport sorted. It requires details on your identity plus proof that you have been microchipped, vaccinated for rabies, tapeworm treated etc. There’s also a non-commercial declaration to complete and carry (just proves that they’re not planning to sell you in France – as if!).
If you’re crossing the Channel, Human can read more on www.gov.uk/take-pet-abroad and on the crossing company websites.
2 – BOOK YOUR HAPPY HOUND HOLIDAY
My advice about dogs and ferries is straightforward enough: the shorter the crossing, the better. Dover to Calais is therefore a good choice: not only is it a PETS Travel Scheme approved route, it’s also the most logical way to reach our campsite in Eastern France by car. During the ferry crossing, dogs stay in the car while you’re up on deck or – if Human doesn’t fancy that idea – you could take the Eurotunnel route from Folkestone to Calais (also an approved route) so that you and Human can be together the whole time. It costs around £15 each way to book a canine companion on a P&O cross-channel ferry or about £19 per way on Eurotunnel.
My owners at the Campsite also need to know that you’re coming, so make sure that Human ticks the pet-box when he makes his booking on our website www.en.laforgedesaintemarie.com/infos/doc/1344_en.pdf. Notice it’s only 2 euros per night for you to stay, whether you’re booking a tent pitch or one of our gîtes or mobile-homes. Bargain!
3 – ENJOY DOGGY DAYS AT LA FORGE
Now, if you and Human haven’t been to the Champagne region before, prepare to fall in love with the vineyard views, quintessential villages and our luscious green campsite nestling at the heart of it. From the second the boot opens, your tail will be on permanent wag as you relish the new sights, sounds and freedom of nature, not to mention the smells (if the wafts from the bistro are anything to go by, Human is gonna like it here too!). While Human checks in at Reception and gets your vaccination docs checked, enjoy a little drink from the bowls outside, your first indication that La Forge is 100% pet-friendly. (Remind Human to order his croissants for next day while he’s at it.)
We’re very flexible on where dogs can go on-site, as long as you are on a lead (maybe pack a tether-stake too) and Human follows the general rules of responsible dog ownership. Our staff will have plenty of great advice for dog-owners too – not only on the practical points (for example they can call the local vet to arrange the injection you’ll need before your return crossing) but also on the most pleasurable aspect of your holiday – the best walking routes.
FOREST – FREEDOM – FETCH! Literally just beyond the campsite, you’ll find the most fantastic walkies, both in the forest and by the river (or do I mean in the river?). Here, you can really enjoy the freedom of the French countryside – and just think… if Human didn’t take his dog with him, he might miss all of this!
OUT AND ABOUT IN THE CHAMPAGNE REGION Having a dog need not dictate where our owners can and can’t go on holiday: if they want to go off discovering local towns and market-days (I can’t help but notice humans are partial to local cheese, wine and champers!), the towns of Chaumont, Joinville, St Dizier and Langres won’t disappoint, especially as local bars and restaurants are generally very dog-friendly too.
Please tell Human he can get in touch with any questions about doggy hols at La Forge and I do hope we’ll be wagging tails together soon. Bon voyage furry friend!