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!”