Monte the mountain dog

mountain village in switzerland

Intrepid’s Kate McLean is a massive animal lover. She travelled to Uganda to see the gorillas, trekked in Thailand to reach an elephant camp and even searched Spain to spot the elusive Wild Mountain Bear! But it was in Switzerland that she found a special fluffy travelling companion…

“Some time ago, I was travelling through Europe with my husband. Whenever we got the chance we would make friends with someone’s pet dog on the train, in a cafe, in a park or wherever we could! It was all fairly innocent, until we got to Switzerland. Here I fell in love with the most gorgeous dog I had ever seen – a Bernese Mountain Dog! They are huge tri-coloured dogs, with massive paws and a smiling face, always affectionate and happy to be given a scratch under the chin.

After two weeks in Switzerland, we were at the Bern train station, about to board an overnight train to Brussels. My husband went into a shop to buy some snacks for the train, and came out with a stuffed miniature Bernese Mountain Dog! We named him Monte (for Montpellier in France) and he was our little travelling buddy for the next 18 months through Europe, the Middle East, East Africa and North America. Monte became a fantastic pillow, and we have some great photos of him from Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic to Khan al-Khalili in Cairo, Egypt’s most famous souq!

Now that we have settled back into ‘normal life’ in Melbourne, we have finally been able to get our own dog. Unfortunately the Bernese Mountain Dog isn’t readily available in Melbourne, so we settled on a gorgeous Golden Retriever. Bonnie regularly comes with me to the Intrepid office and has grown up with her sister, Bali, who is owned by a workmate. One day I hope to get Bonnie a playmate – it just might have to be a Bernese Mountain Dog called Monte!”

About the author

Sue Elliot - Like many of us, Sue contracted a serious travel bug at an early age. She's visited over 90 countries in search of a cure, but her wanderlust just seems to get worse. Thankfully at Intrepid Travel she's amongst people who understand the affliction and since 1998 Sue has enjoyed being our blog and newsletter editor. Here you'll find helpful travel advice and inspiring tales from Sue and other Intrepid travellers.

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