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My Trip to France

Finally after months of waiting, the day that I thought would never come finally dawned. Bags packed and Sat Nav programmed and ready, Wendy and I set off for the trip to France to pick up my new Barbet girl that had arrived there from Canada with her breeder the day before. There was an atmosphere of both excitement and nervousness about the trip as I had never driven on the ‘other side of the road’ before so we were both a bit worried that we would arrive in one piece.

We drove to Folkestone and took the Euro tunnel to Calais – so far so good! We arrived in Calais and braced ourselves for the two and a half hour drive to Alain and Anne-Sophie’s who had kindly offered their home to us all for our meeting place and to stay the night. Much to my surprise it was a doddle driving over there and we felt totally at ease straight away. The drive was great and only had one hiccup with the directions when the sat nav tried to keep taking us down a road that had been blocked off but eventually it got the message that we had to detour and the rest of the journey went smoothly.

We arrived almost on time and had a wonderful welcome from everyone. I fell in love with Ebene at first sight, she was such a sweet girl and everything I hoped she would be. We sat outside and had a very much needed cup of tea (Wendy brought English teabags with her, clever girl) and even with the language barrier we managed to have a lovely chat and wind down after the journey. Lyne and Denise Trudel of course had their work cut out trying to tell me all about Ebene’s likes and dislikes and going through all the paperwork that had to be dealt with. Luckily they were a lot better at talking English than I was at French!

After all the necessaries were seen to we were treated with a beautiful meal with of course wine in copious amounts before we turned in for the night.

Lyne, Denise, Ebene and myself at Alain’s house

Anne-Sophie, Lyne, Wendy and me after dinner


We were up bright and early the next morning and had a lovely cooked breakfast before we headed off on the journey home. It was hard for Lyne to say goodbye to Ebene after all the time she had been with her and I must admit I felt quite bad for taking her but after a quick ‘au revoir’ we were off on the road again. Again the journey went well apart from one hiccup where we actually ended up on a race track and Wendy and I both got a fit of the giggles imagining a load of racehorses coming round the bend behind us :o) Luckily that didn’t happen and on our way back to the proper road ran into a very nice Frenchman who proceeded to give us directions all the way back to Calais. Although we couldn’t understand much of what he said it was very nice just looking at him!!

We arrived at Pet Passport Control in Calais with time to spare and thank goodness all her paperwork was in order and we were dealt with in minutes – phew!

At the tunnel in Calais


Arriving home at about 7 pm we were obviously very tired but happy to have made the trip there and back safely and Ebene had been an angel and travelled so well we couldn’t believe it. The introduction to the gang here went better than I could ever have hoped and although she was obviously a bit shell-shocked she wasn’t really worried about anything which was a huge relief.

Ebene is gradually becoming part of the pack and is more confident every day. She’s now running to get the ball with the others and sometimes even manages to get it before Ooli does so I don’t think it will be long before she gives him a run for his money :o)

I must say a big thank you to Lyne for allowing me to have this precious girl and campaigning her to her Canadian Championship for me and a big thank you to Wendy for taking her life in her hands when she agreed to be a passenger with me driving.

Home at last










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