Blenheim Canine Training | Christine’s Holiday with Holly
A dog obedience and agility club dedicated to promoting responsible dog ownership through education and training
Blenheim Canine Training, dog, agility, dog obedience, Marlborough, education, classes, puppy courses, advanced obedience, Rally O, first-time dog owners, frequent competitions
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Christine’s Holiday with Holly



Last month I had 12 days annual holiday and travelled to the North Island for some relaxed agility ribbon trails, having so much enjoyed the same events in Rotorua the previous year. I just love getting away from the demands of work and spending some quality leisurely time with my dog Holly. We met so many people and their dogs and had a wonderful time. Later I will tell you some of my tips for travelling**.


Unfortunately the start of my holiday was not ‘smooth sailing’! Infact it the worst sailing I have experienced, striking 3metre swells in the strait which didnt agree with my stomach that day! I was a little concerned for Holly in the car incase the car alarm was going off, but the girls assured me the car was ok. Of course Holly was fine and I later realised she probably just thought I was driving our winding road near home.


My overnight stop was in Taihape where I relaxed in the spa bath, glad to finally be on holiday. The next day was a beautiful drive through the desert road, where I never get bored admiring Mt Ruapehu. When leaving Turangi I caught a glimpse of a dog sign just over the bridge so turned around to explore a picturesque riverside walk, complete with fishermen standing waste-high in the water! A local man I passed told me of another gem in Turangi called the Creel tackle house and cafe behind which is the lovely Tongariro River walking track (nice for dogs) . An hour or 2 later after lunch and exploration we were back on the road. As darkness approached I could see the steam as I arrived in Rotorua. My motel was literally just around the corner from the dog obedience club grounds.


Rotorua’s ribbon trial was on the Saturday. The sun was shining and Holly was first on in the first Elementary A class. She flew around the serpentine course to go clear. I was thrilled to get our first ever 2nd placing ( and a clear round cert). A cloud decided to dump a good shower of rain during the Starters class so the ground was wet for our second Elementary A class. Although again clear, Holly was in a slower gear due to the rain which reflected in considerable time faults.


The next day was the Tokoroa event at the Rotorua grounds again. Elementary A had a similar serpentine course but to my surprize Holly ran out on a jump costing us a refusal and dropping us from a possible 3rd place to 7th out of 19.  I think she got overwhelmed by the 4 jumps in a straight row so ran out on the 2nd one.  She doesnt have an Eveready battery like some dogs!


The following week was free to relax and I had booked another couple nights in Rotorua.

I offered the Rotorua Obedience club a shortened version of my Pet Health Awareness seminars I am giving to my clients. Luckily they had a projector so we could hold it in the comforts of their own clubrooms on the Monday night. I was impressed with the turn out and it was great to get the positive feedback and experience in front of a different group.

As a reward for my diligent efforts in a competition through work a few months earlier, I won the Royal Canin Springtime Skin Challenge and received a $5000 Red balloon voucher which covers a variety of adventure activities or pamper packs. So where else to spend some of it but in Rotorua!

I cashed in for the Parasailing at Rotorua lakefront (with motel managers wife), Swoop, Extreme free fall, Tarawera Crater 4x4WD , Hells gate ultimud massage, and the #1 trip advisor adventure Canopy Tours (zip lining).


Wednesday I moved on to Tauranga as the weekend ahead gave me a choice between a ribbon trail in Tauranga ( 2 x Ele A) or Wanganui on the Saturday. I had also entered two Open shows (conformation) in Porirua held by the Wellington Ladies. I was waiting to see the weather before I decided what to do.


Holly and I got up leisurely on Thursday and explored a beautiful walkway along Beach Road with crystal clear views of the ‘mount’. I appreciate the clear signs for dog owners that I see on my travels and I am making a collection to hopefully give our council inspiration. There was not as many adventurous things to do in Tauranga but after walking up Mt Manganui ( sorry no dogs allowed) I went on an evening kayak tour to see the glow worms. The setting was amazing as Lake McLaren was so picturesque with the autumn coloured trees ( sadly no dogs allowed in park). We started with mulled wine and cheese while the guide got the kayaks ready near the water. I was rugged up warm as the 4 of us in the double kayaks drifted to the end of the lake to a canyon to view the glow worms. It was a perfect night the guide said with the sky so clear to see the stars for an astronomy lesson on the way home.


The weather was not looking good for the weekend in either destination but lightning was threatening in Tuaranga so I packed up and headed to Wanganui. I was keen to make the drive down on the west side of lake Taupo for a change.


I heard rain overnight but woke up to a clear day, Yay!. Holly’s first class was Elementary A. Despite a delay entrance the weives costing us some time faults she just managed to place 2nd which I was thrilled with. Their logo on the ribbons is a dog with halo above its head which I thought was gorgeous. She also did a solid jumpers C run. I chatted to some lovely people here and had so much fun doing tunnellers that I really felt part of the club to the end.


Before I came home I visited a vet friend of mine in Levin and then hit the city for a open show in Wellington. We were the only Tibbie there. Quite a change from the friendly agility crowd but I still enjoyed showing Holly off in the ring as she watched me and wagged her tail all time we were in the ring. One judge commented on how fit she looked for 9 years old, so I couldnt resist mentioning she does agility too! I do think she enjoys being out around other dogs and smelling their pee mails! These events are our excuse to go different places and explore together. And I am proud to have a small dog that is mostly well behaved and is easy to take on holiday and stay in motels.


Just for the record my return sailing was perfect. The strait was so calm and even dolphins swam in the waves along side the ferry in the sounds.





COOK STRAIT FERRIES…My preference is the Interislander, rather than Bluebridge (BB). They let you go down to the car to check on dogs (accompanied by staff so ask at shop). I go after 1 hour if I feel I need to. Bluebridge dont. They give better discount for kennel club, like driver free ($50), compared to only $17 discount with BB ( still need to ring them for code). If text for sailing status they adjust time for check-in if delayed. BB want you there at original time so wait longer! Overall I like the Interislander boats better, more to explore and I love how you can go out front of Awatere to view.


MOTELS…. When I go on holiday with Holly I want to treat myself and stay in nice modern motels at a reasonable cost. I search for pets allowed ( under facilities) then look under each highlighted motel at the bottom for ‘good to know’ section which says if pets stay FREE, or if charges applicable. Some places are asking $35 if dog stays, to cover extra cleaning!!! Then I look at that motel’s own website for details and ring them direct to book, making sure they are happy with dogs in rooms ( in my case) and not have any extra rules! I take extra old sheets/towels to put down to avoid too much hair or dirt. And a lint roller in case hair gets on furniture etc. If we are responsible and leave the room clean then they will be happy to have us back! I am hearing more and more stories from motelliers having had bad dog/owner experiences and are becoming more reluctant to let them stay. If we stick to what is expected of us ie clean up after our pets and ensure they are not being a nuisance esp noise, then all will be happy. I often leave Holly in a soft crate where I know she is secure. I also say not to service the room as they are quite happy to do less work.


My favourite stops…

Panaroma Motel, Levin… Off the road, exercise paddocks for dogs if needed, spa and outdoor pool. Good value and modern. Cheaper for single person too.

Aspen Court Motel, Taihape... bit more pricey but nice, spacious, grass outside most rooms. Spa baths same price. Midway Wellington to Rotorua.

Cleveland Motel, Rotorua… thermal heated outside pool, mineral pools, close to Rotorua dog club grounds and Animates. Nice managers when I was there were moving on.

Summit Motor Lodge, Tauranga…. dog biscuit on welcome, nice outdoor spa pool, very accommodating owner, previously from Marlborough.


COUNCIL DOG PARKS…. most councils have websites with parks outlined. It can be hard when visiting from out of town. Don’t always believe the moteliers! Keep an eye out for signs. If unsure keep on leash so at least you have control and appear responsible. Clean up poo and take it with you if no obvious rubbish bin is handy.


Photos Here