Just chilling out

Well, you don’t really have to go to the Arctic to chill – but Mum, she takes things so literally sometimes.

But there are things to take care of. We need to go to the Vet before our return to mainland Norway and also essentially for our homeward bound journey. Because we were delayed by a day due to flight cancellations, we had to get to the vet early to be sure we are within the 24 hours before landing on the mainland.

Hello! Are you open? It’s awfully early!
I must have been the first patient as these are all my paw prints.

We met the lovely vet who checked me over very throughly.

Yes, I can do a wave.
You want me to open my mouth?
Are those treats? Nope! I needed the deworming pill as well as the tick and flea treatment which Mum had given me but not recorded in the passport. Oops!
Just checking that the pill went down!
Er, where’s the treat?
Finally! The good stuff!

The vet told us that there are about 1000 pets on the island – 80% of them are working dogs, mainly huskies. But there exists others including even a Chihuahua! Bet he’s cold!

After the vet visit, we had time on our hands as nothing opens before 10am. There’s a playground in the parking lot where we’re staying – we went to try out the swings.

I need somewhere for my butt.

It’s all a bit cold to be doing this, Mum.

While at the vet, Mum bought me some pink booties. She had noticed that I wasn’t so keen on walking on the cold icy roads – I ran home as soon as I could. And she had seen a dog yesterday with them and was told we could buy them at the vet.

She was so relieved that I could wear size Small – because they’re pink!

We had a practice at home walking in them – so I don’t embarrass myself when we’re out and about in the town centre.

I’m getting used to them slowly.

And so we’re ready for our walk into town – the Pink Ladies!

All bundled up in my green Overglam puffa jacket and pink booties …

I walked confidently and happily in them – look at all that grit and snow!

What amazes Mum is that they didn’t fall off. We’ve tried others the last time we were up north, and maybe its because they were too heavy that they came off as I walked. These ones stayed on.

We checked out a few shops on the main street.

I may by posing and being cool but keeping an eye on that very big dog tied up outside the shop. Nowhere do they allow dogs inside – so Mum does quick nip into shops.

Oh, of course Mum had to take this photo. So obvious!

Coal mining is a key industry in Svalbard.

Mum wanted to say hi to the Basecamp Explorer Hotel where she stayed eight years ago.

She loved this hotel – rustic chic.

But with me in tow, we couldn’t stay there as none of the hotels in town are dog-friendly – that’s why we ended up in an AirBnB.

Some friends had also told us about the first and only bank robbery in December last year! So we had to go and find that one bank in town!

Where did the robber think he was going after he had robbed the bank? To the mountain to share this loot with the Polar Bears or get on a flight?
This was the only polar bear we saw. A very pretty one.

We spent the rest of the day at the apartment – just chilling.

May’s comment: We’ve come to the end of this adventure. When some of the members of the Cockapoos of Sweden suggested we visit, I knew I couldn’t just get to the continent and miss an opportunity to take Darcy onwards to another adventure. As always, she’s a brilliant traveller – never complains, goes with the flow – to accommodate my need to just create memories with her.

My trip to Svalbard eight years ago marked the beginning of a new phase of life for me. In some way, it has special significance. Come to think of it, it was just days before Darcy was born in Wales and a couple of months before she entered my life. Can’t believe the years that have flown by – eight years later I am back here with her. Nothing much has changed in Svalbard. I still remember all the same shops. And since I have already done all the adventurous stuff, I am happy just being able to take walks with her, see her play in the snow and time to chill. I find it helpful to take a break from the daily grind back home – but of course never fully chilled. I’m just thinking of all the things to do when we get back.

So glad to have re-created these memories with her. And to many more.

Her boots are from:


  1. Maureen Dell

    Aww May, I can’t stop laughing, Darcy looks too gorgeous with her pink shoes on. Her walking in them is the sweetest ever. Such amazing memories you’re making with Darcy.

  2. Jill Keiser

    I love Darcy’s total attire! She is so arctic chic! Ready for every adventure!

  3. Those shoes are the best! I got them as well as my paws don’t like the cold.

  4. Peter

    My wife and myself love your blog and look forward to your next instalment.
    Safe journey home.

  5. Sara Cormack

    Oh Darcy your boots are so pretty. I think that big dog thought you were very pretty too! See you at home soon.

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