The thought of losing a pet is one of the most dreadful in any animal lover’s life. Having had dogs for 10 years, I have been preparing myself for their departure almost from the start… rationally unnecessary and painful, but emotionally impossible to escape. It’s almost like I’ve been preparing for the inevitable, knowing that our pets’ lives are shorter than ours, but also ensuring that they are as well looked after as they can be. Spoiled even.

No dog’s life is meaningless, no matter how many tricks they’ve failed to learn, people and animals they’ve not warmed to, or places they’ve not visited. To that dog’s family, they are the centre of their universe, often sharing spaces and pecking orders with children and adults alike; and changing all of their routines, from sleep to work to holidays.

The moment we got our first ever pet, we knew that our lives would change forever. Of course at times we would take flights and leave Oscar (now almost 10) with trusted friends and carers, but very early on we opted for driving holidays that could accommodate our new family member. Taken to the extreme, this meant driving from our home in England to my family in Portugal for the next 10 years instead of flying, just so he could travel with us. And this trend continued 5 years later with the new addition – Ollie (5).

But just when you think that the changes you implement in your life are a bit extreme, another family shows you that you’re actually quite a tame household… Try traveling the world with your dog and writing a book about it.

This is inevitably a sad story because it ends with the passing of a much loved pet, but also a tale of hope for endless animals that needn’t live in the streets in abandonment. May this be a lesson about how animals should always be treated…


Welcome to our April DogBlog!

ROCHELLE LUCAS & KALA R.I.P. (around 13)



We met Kala 11 years ago when we were living and working in Bangalore, India. She lived on the street outside my office. She was very thin and we started to feed her. Seeing her each evening became the highlight of my day. Sadly she soon became pregnant. I remember the day I got a call saying she gave birth to 5 puppies outside our office. The local pound was going to come and collect her. There are so many street dogs in India, she was going to be collected and put down. That day changed our lives. We jumped in a rickshaw and raced to the office to collect her and her newborn pups. We called her Kala Kutta (black dog in Hindi). It was the beginning of our adventures.

Since adopting Kala she has lived in 4 countries and travelled to 25 (some highlights below). We wrote her rescue story and are donating all proceeds to Pet Rescue. “Kala: The Indian Street Dog who Travelled the World” is available on Amazon – 

Highest Mountain in Norway (Galdhopiggen)

Norway is one of our favourite countries, so we decided to climb Galdhopiggen. You cross a glacier at the start of the hike. For safety you follow a guide, with everyone harnessed and connected with a rope. Half way across the glacier, one of the group called “STOP”. The group came to a halt and looked around. The person behind me called out “Kala needs to pee”. John and I looked a little sheepish as 20 people stood patiently while Kala squatted on the snow.

From there it took us a couple of hours to reach the summit. The last section is a scramble up a steep section of snow. At the summit, the views were amazing. We had blue skies and the mountains were all snow-capped. I wonder if Kala was the first Indian Street Dog to climb to the summit.

Rochelle & Kala at the summit – Galdhopiggen, Norway

Cable Car & Suspension Bridge in Switzerland

Trift Bridge is a suspension bridge over a glacial lake in Switzerland. You take a cable car up the mountain to the base of the hike. This was the first time that Kala had been in a cable car. She looked nervous as she felt the base of the car swing in the breeze as we climbed up through the valley. The view was stunning, but she was focused on us until we got to the top. She was very pleased to step onto solid ground.

View of the bridge


The path from the cable car up to the bridge takes about 1.5 hours. You hike up a beautiful valley with snow capped mountains on either side and some mountain goats to keep Kala alert on the hike. We were lucky to be the only ones when we arrived at the bridge.

Kala admiring the glacial lake

The bridge is suspended 100m over a blue glacial lake. Kala was very brave. There are many people who would have turned back when they saw how high it was. She took it in her stride though and followed John across the bridge. One paw at a time. When she made it to the other side we were so proud. The view of the lake and surrounding mountains was amazing. We all sat down for a picnic lunch to admire the view. Kala had proven again what an amazing adventurer she was.

John and Kala crossing Trift Bridge, Switzerland

Dog Friendly Cinema

We were excited when Picturehouse announced that they would have dog friendly cinema sessions. The sessions are scheduled once a month on a Sunday. The café downstairs was filled with dogs all quietly waiting for the show to start. The cinema was well set-up with plenty of dog bowls in the waiting areas and along the aisles inside the cinema in case a dog was thirsty during the show. As we arrived we were given a blanket to cover the seat, a doggie treat and a small gift for Miss Kala.

Kala at Picturehouse Central, Piccadilly Circus


We picked our seat and Kala settled in. Soon the dogs filled the cinema. Everyone spread out to give the dogs some space. During the show it was quite common to have a dog face appear over your shoulder from the row behind or for a dog to settle down next to you on the floor. It was a great experience.

Sadly Kala passed away a few weeks ago. She led an amazing life and achieved more than we could have ever dreamed possible. We will always be grateful that she chose to adopt us.

We will never forget her! ??

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