Last week in London, there was a special bus. It was bus number K9 – the world’s first ever city tour bus for dogs!
And we were privileged to have been able to experience it.The meeting point was at Tate Britain. When we arrived we could see a gathering of hoomans and pooches. Nicely surprised to see quite a large turnout.
Everyone wanted to take photos of their pooches. Soon it was time to board the bus I was eager to know where we were going and what we will learn Let’s have a look at the Tour Map:Just in case we needed to disembark for some relief, the “K9” made stops at Hyde Park, Kensington Palace Gardens and Green Park.
(Photo above and below from MORE TH>N)
In between doggy disembarkments, the live commentary packed with titbits of hound trivia covered these points of interests:
- Victoria Tower Gardens: Located next to the Houses of Parliament, Victoria Tower Gardens are home to the annual Westminster Dog of the Year show, where MPs from across the country bring their dogs to the capital to compete for the heavily sought after prize. Started in 1992, in recent years it has been a case of Tory domination, with MPs from the party winning eight of the past nine competitions until 2016.
(Photo from MORE TH>AN)
- Houses of Parliament: The Houses of Parliament have been the location for numerous dog-related laws and rules that play an important part in our society today. There are currently 24 Acts of Parliament relating solely to dogs and a further 11 relating to animals in general. The most recent one to come to fruition was the 2016 Dog Microchipping Legislation which saw all dogs in England, Scotland and Wales become legally required to be microchipped and their details registered on one of the authorised databases. A few years ago, Mummy was there to witness the passing of Harvey’s Law!
(Photo from MORE TH>N)
- Buckingham Palace: Pembroke Welsh Corgis are famed for being the preferred breed of Queen Elizabeth II. She has owned more than 30 during her reign and currently has one named Willow. Three of her Corgis made an appearance when James Bond (portrayed by Daniel Craig) arrived at Buckingham Palace to escort the Queen to the 2012 London Olympics. There is a Queen Mother Memorial on The Mall that shows her with two corgis.
- Hyde Park: Henry VIII, whose favourite pets were his dogs, acquired Hyde Park from the monks of Westminster Abbey in 1536, and he could often be seen hunting deer there. During his reign, he owned beagles, spaniels and greyhounds. Hyde Park is also home to a secret pet cemetery that was started in 1881 by Mr Winbridge, a gatekeeper at Victoria Lodge, who started burying dog’s in the lodge’s garden. The first dog to be buried there was a Maltese Terrier called Cherry who died of old age and whose owners used to visit the Hyde Park regularly and were friends of Mr. Winbridge.
- Kensington Palace & Gardens: Kensington Palace is the home of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Like the Queen, Kate and William are dog owners and have a family dog, a black cocker spaniel called Lupo. The name Lupo means ‘wolf’ in Italian.
- The Kennel Club: The Kennel Club is the official kennel club of the United Kingdom and the oldest recognised Kennel Club in the world. The club was originally set up by Sewallis E Shirley in 1859 as he was frustrated that there were no consistent rules for dog shows. Now, the club also acts as a lobbying group for issues surrounding dogs in the UK. The Kennel Club houses the largest collection of dog art.
- Downing Street: Ministerial Dogs that have lived at 10 and 11 Downing Street include Geoffrey Howe’s Jack Russell Budget, Winston Churchill’s pet poodle Rufus, post-war Prime Minister Clement Attlee and his dog Ting and former Chancellor George Osbourne’s dog, Lola.
WHOA!!!! Did you see who was driving the bus?!?!?!? Sure am glad we didn’t see that before we go on.
May’s comment: Canine-loving Londoners were treated last week to the world’s first city tour bus for dogs.
My friend, Laura wrote me from LA, “Is this for real?”
Yup! It sure was! 🙂
Here’s a taste of what happened …
(Video from MORE TH>N)
The Bus Tour was created by MORE TH>N the tour bus route centres on points of interest in London that have a historical connection to canines, and disembarking points at some of London’s best parks and city centre dog walking spots, including Hyde Park, Kensington Palace Gardens and Green Park.
Passengers were provided with a handy leaflet mapping dog-friendly pubs, bars and restaurants in the area, where owner and dog can refuel together post-walk.
Along the way, a live onboard commentary for dog owners lifts the lid on London’s rich canine history, including the ministerial dogs of Downing Street, the many corgis that have shared Buckingham Palace with the Queen and the location of London’s only dog cemetery.
(Photo from MORE TH>N)
It was fun. So much potential. Had so many friends write to say they wished they had been able to go on it. Maybe they should do this once a season. We can definitely help with a few more tips especially in the wine and dine section.
Also, note to self – I am not the crazy dog lady in comparison to the ones I met! I would say all other passengers were equally mad. At times I thought I was on a school outing with over-eager parents! LOL! But in the end, it was lovely to see how many dog-lovers there are.