Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Bondi the supermodelmute

Today I was interviewed about my travels with Bondi for a Norwegian newspaper, Dagbladet. Bondi - "I don't get off the floor for less than 50 ginger biscuits" - was photographed with me in several locations around Ealing.

During the interview I was asked if I knew of any other dogs who were as well-travelled as Bondi. I admitted that I didn't, but I had been inspired partly by John Steinbeck's Travels with Charley: In Search of America, published in 1961. Charley also inspired Bruce Fogle, who toured the US in Travels with Macy, a book we discovered while I was in Paris last year. I've also read a little of Two Feet, Four Paws about a woman who walked her dog around the entire coastline of Britain. [Postscript: it occurs to me that my first and probably greatest influence was the fictional tales of Tintin & Snowy, the intrepid young reporter taking his dog in all his travels.]

Some research turned up details of Owney, who saw the world in the care of the US Postal Service until his death in 1897. He's now on display in the Smithsonian museum. Some other "noble dogs" whose lives have been memorialised in the USA are noted in this virtual mausoleum.

Various dogs active in war-time, often smuggled back to another country, are listed in Wikipedia's catalog of famous dogs. A toy dog Woefje the Airport Dog, is also making the rounds of various airports about the globe.

There is certainly a lot of circum-Europe or North America travel by folks in motor-homes who take their dogs with them everywhere, but Owney is the only dog I can identify with major multi-continental experience.

In order of travel, Bondi has been to the following countries on 3 continents:
  • USA (born in Seattle; travelled around Olympic Peninsula, Puget Sound; visited Portland, Oregon)
  • Canada (Vancouver, Whistler, Victoria)
  • Australia (Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne, Hobart and points between)
  • England (almost everywhere + walked Hadrian's Wall + Capital Ring)
  • Scotland (good coverage + walked Great Glen Way)
  • Wales (good coverage)
  • France (Paris, Nice, south & west coasts, Angers, Cherbourg)
  • Belgium
  • Netherlands (Amsterdam)
  • Germany (Heidelberg)
  • Switzerland (Lucerne)
  • Italy (Genoa)
  • Monaco (Monte Carlo)
  • Spain (Pamplona, Salamanca, San Sebastian, Segovia, Avila, Bilbao)
  • Ireland (most of coastline)
  • Northern Ireland (all of coastline)
After the next journey we'll add:
  • Croatia
  • Slovenia
  • Slovakia
  • Hungary
  • Austria
  • Czech Republic
  • Poland
  • Lithuania
  • Latvia
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • Sweden
  • Norway
  • Denmark
  • Luxembourg
  • + additional cities in Switzerland (Geneva), Italy (many + Sicily), Germany (many), Belgium (Ghent & Brussels probably).

    1 comment:

    1. I'm currently the same age Steinbeck had achieved when he undertook his travels and on Valentines Day I left home on a 12-month tour of the U.S. and Canada.

      I'm maintaining a web site with a blog, column, forum, map room, photo gallery and both audio and video podcasts.

      Input is welcome. Ride along with me at


    Flickr slideshow