As you all may know by now – from having seen my IG stories and photos – I was once again in Saas Fee this year for business. This little town up in the alps is magical for me. I’ve written a post about it previously, and will thus not go into too much detail about it now. The drive up into the mountains was once more breath-taking and this time my boyfriend and our two puppies joined! The business events lasted from Wednesday night up until Friday and once again I learned more than I could have imagined in such a short time frame. Amazing! Friday night my man sadly had to return to Zurich early so I stayed in Saas Fee with the dogs and my family (parents & sis). Saturday, before driving back to Zurich, we decided to go for a small hike with the dogs. The path right from Saas Fee took us a bit further up into the mountains. We saw marmots (which you can actually feed with peanuts out of your hands!), walked past a huge water mill and saw the slowly melting glacier up in the mountains. All in all, it was absolutely wonderful. That is of course, if you’re such a nature fanatic like myself. Also: I think the dogs had the time of their lives!
The move is more or less done – finally! Almost all furniture is where it is supposed to be, the outside area lounge and seating arrangements have been ordered and we are ready for summer! One of the biggest things that stressed me was actually having to move with my dog. Moving a dog from one place to another can cause lots of stress for the dog and more often than expected, the dogs don’t take it all too easy. Zaphira likewise had her issues. She immediately loved the place – ran around, enjoyed the garden from day one and was happy to look outside the windows to stalk the neighbours. Yet leaving her alone in the apartment was a task for itself. The first days she did not leave my side, barked when I left our new home after 10 seconds and was crying so loud I could hear it in the basement I felt.
To get a dog used to a new place, it is important to make it feel like a home. I decided to not have her with me during the actual days of moving and left her with a dog sitter. This way there was less stress for her and she was able to come into the (almost readily) furnished apartment. Her bed and all her toys were waiting for her and I hid treats all over the place for her to joyfully explore the new surrounding. Leaving her alone was an issue though. I decided to take baby steps. I would go to the bathroom or bed room and close the door behind me so that she wouldn’t be with me at all times. Yet, she knew I was still in the apartment. After a few days, I would go into the garden by myself. She was able to see me and stared outside the window. Later I would go through the garden and bring away the trash – suddenly I was out of sight. What started with a little panic attack from her side because normal after 2 days. Then I went grocery shopping around the corner for about 20 minutes and after about 3-4 weeks she seemed fully fine with the new situation. So proud of her! We are now at a stage where I can leave her alone for several hours if need be, too. Thankfully!
Just remember – moving homes with a dog is a whole new task and takes time and especially a whole lot of patience!
All is white, all is bright – it finally snowed in Zurich this week! And not just a little, no – I mean a lot of fluffy powder snow everywhere. I love it and am crossing my fingers that it’ll stay a while!
My friends child stayed home for a few days and some schools in South Germany are even closed due to snow chaos I heard. Sadly, we “adults” don’t get free snow days anymore. Though let’s be honest – most of us would not be rolling around in the snow the full day (at least I wouldn’t). Unless, of course, one can go up the mountain for snow activities.
Zaphira prefers snow much more than rain. Understandably so, I think. And because our almost everyday lunch activity is to play fetch & catch the ball, this was not different with all the snow. I took Zaphira to a small park area nearby where she run around freely. One thing I didn’t think: the snow was actually so high already we several times almost lost the ball in the snow. Of course that is one thing Zaphira does not accept. Thus, she runs around like a maniac trying to find the ball in the snow not caring whether her jumper gets soaked or not. Surely, it did.
Now, for anyone that also has an Italian Greyhound, knows the breed, has a dog of its own with less fur or one that is not used to the cold temperatures – note that even dogs can catch the flu if we (the humans) aren’t watching out for them. Zaphira for example barely has fur and is surely not made for the winter – I don’t think she would survive one winter by herself. So of course she has a little closet (joke) of her own and thus a few outfits to choose from (well, four jumpers/jackets so to speak).
After being all soaked by the snow, however, her shivering could no longer be ignored. This is when I say: be careful. No one, not even a puppy, should be shivering due to the cold. So I took off her jumper immediately, wrapped her up in my jacket – took some amazing cute little selfies (see the photos) – and carried her back to the office so she would be warm. At the office I made her a hot water bottle (yes, she has her own one there). Because she was shaking and shivering a little more than usual, I also cooked up a chicken bouillon (add A LOT of water) and served it to her slightly warm. Trust me: your dog will love you after this – and it has the great benefit of you not having to worry that your pup isn’t drinking enough!
Do you have any other tips or trick of keeping your pup (those that freeze easily) warm after a day out in the snow?
Since I have Zaphira in my life I started going for walks so much more; naturally, of course. Yet, I get bored quite easily if the routine hits too hard and seeing the same scenery daily really doesn’t boost my imagination nor creativity. I likewise noticed, sadly enough, that I don’t know Zurich as well as I wish I did. I thus decided to try and find new walking routes at least once a month. This Sunday I started with taking Zaphira to the Wildnespark (Wild Animal Park) in Zurich. It’s really quite the nice walk in autumn – calm, quiet, not too many people but still oh-so-many smells that kept my little fur-friend fascinated at all times. I especially loved that dogs are allowed in the area – at least when kept on the leash. Likewise, there is no entrance fee – which was also nice. The parking (when arriving by car) did cost 10,- Swiss francs; though because this money is used to support the wild park I really didn’t mind the fee (it’s a one-time pay for the whole day). For those that want to go more often, one can also purchase a parking ticked for the whole year (for 100 Swiss francs).
I absolutely loved this new scenery (and loved seeing the Moose!) and will absolutely go back – especially to see the park throughout the different seasons!
There is nothing I love more than traveling – especially when it involves seeing my family and being able to take my puppy, Zaphira, with me. Due to my family living in Malta, as you may know by now, I tend to visit them ever so often. Traveling to Malta with a dog in general is rather easy – even easier, if it‘s a small dog (up to 8kg in weight) that you can take into the plane cabin with you. Zaphira has flown around 3 times with me to Malta already now, and is getting more and more used to plane rides. It calms me to know that she is less panicky now and I do not have to give her any tablets anymore (which I tried in the beginning to calm her down but did not feel was the right thing to do).
When entering Malta with a pet (cat or dog) it is of utmost importance to register the animal prior at the customs. Recently, this process has been simplified and can be done online here.
Likewise, you must see a vet around 3 days prior to entering Malta to confirm the dog is healthy (get a statement of good health) and it must be treated for worms (in the form of a tablet).
Once you arrive at the airport, you will be awaited by the customs to check that the above processes have been done and to verify the mircrochip number with the one entered onto the online form.
Discovering Malta with your dog is fairly easy when it comes to walking through the streets and visiting utmost touristy places. Dogs are allowed in most public spaces, given they are on a leash, and can run freely in certain areas. Yet, although people living in Malta love dogs, many of them are not used to having their dogs play with others. You will notice that they are kept rather tightly on leashes and are often even scared towards other dogs.
When it comes to Restaurants, one wants to call beforehand to see whether dogs are allowed. It seems that some do not allow dogs at all – not even in the outside areas, whilst others offer your dog their own chair to sit at the table with you. The same thing goes for hotels – make sure that you check online or by calling before booking any rooms.
Funnily enough, and in contrast to what we are used to in most other countries in Europe, dogs are allowed in supermarkets. That is, not all dogs. Big dogs usually need to wait outside and are not permitted. In case you have a small dog, however, no one will tell you to leave the dog outside by itself. Simply carry the dog around whilst you go grocery shopping!
The best seasons to visit Malta with you dog is anything from very late summer / early autumn up until mid-spring. Already in April, and most definitely in May, Malta reaches very temperatures already and walking with the dog for outside for hours is almost impossible and surely not recommended. If you don’t want your puppy to melt away in the sun, and likewise if you don’t want to sit around in the shade all day, the summer is not the best time to exploring Malta with any pet (nor without, as most Maltese that have the possibility leave the island as it becomes too hot)!
If any of you have any recommendations of where to best stay with your dog in Malta, do let me know – as I am still in the midst of further exploring the island; of course, with Zaphira. Likewise, I have planned quite a few trips this summer with her and am always looking for new places to explore that are dog-friendly. Up next with Zaphira is Munich! If you wish, I am more than happy to sharing some tips with you after my visit. Until then, I wish you all safe travels wherever you go! Xo