Hey! You probably clicked on this article because you’re interested in reading about some cool adventures on the road with a dog in a converted campervan, but what good is a story without getting to know the characters first?
On that note, my name is Maleki. I grew up with dogs, a border collie and a westie, and I have always had a soft spot for our little four-legged friends. Now that I’m all grown up, it was only natural to get a dog of my own. This leads me to introduce you to Blondie, my rescued Saluki mix.
Blondie came into my life just a week before the first lockdown. I was recovering from shoulder surgery, and I needed to add a spark back into my life. I came across Blondie on Battersea’s website, a straylurcher that had been brought in, and it was love at first sight. I met her the next week and the rest, as they say, is history. Would you believe that this cutie was actually returned to Battersea, not once, but twice by her first adopters?!
Snootiful Hound, inspired by Blondie
Skipping ahead a few years now, inspired by Blondie, I set up a business called Snootiful Hound.
The reason I’m telling you this is because it’s important to the story. Without Snootiful Hound, there’d be no van, and without a van, there’d be no stories to share with you.
You see, I fell in love with Blondie instantly, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t struggles at times. In typical sighthound fashion, she would regularly escape her harness and chase squirrels and various wildlife around our local park.
Fortunately, she never caught anything, but one day she did manage to get loose on a main road and decided that would be a good place to let out her zoomies, weaving in and out of traffic. As I’m sure you can imagine, my heart stopped, it was the scariest experience of my life to date, and I realised I had to do something about it.
I won’t bore you with all the details, but I had already tried countless harnesses to stop Blondie’s escape act but none of them worked. You see, traditional harnesses aren’t designed with sighthound breeds or their slender bodies in mind. So, I set out to create my own; an escape proof harness just for sighthoundslike Blondie.
With the flexibility that running a business like Snootiful Hound provides, I figured it was the perfect excuse to allow me to spend more time with my best friend, Blondie. After all, she did inspire the business…
I could in theory be anywhere in the UK. If I had my laptop, stock on hand, and a post office within driving distance, we’d be set! Not to mention that Blondie could have the life she deserves after a difficult start to life as a stray, and I could enjoy every moment of that with her.
So what is my plan?
Good question. I’ll let you know when I figure it out… But for now, with Snootiful Hound still being in its infancy, I do need to keep my head down as there’s lots of work to be done. So, for the time being, it will just be short weekend trips away in my new van.
Then, the idea is that if I can work consistently whilst I’m at home for say a month at a time, and if I work hard enough, I should be able to then go out on the road in my new campervan, exploring all the UK has to offer for a few weeks on end with Blondie, with regular stop offs to post orders, and spending a few hours a day talking to customers and making sure everything is running smoothly. The rest of our time will be spent, exploring, hiking and playing, and I’ll be sure to share these adventures with you, so stay tuned for that!
Introducing the van:
Okay, I hear you, you just want to see the van that I bought now. I would too! And yes, I bought it. As much as I’d like to say I built it myself, DIY is not my forte.
As you can see, it’s not perfect, but it’s perfect for us. I’ve added various attachment points for Blondie, it has 3 solar panels and 75 litres of water so that we can escape from society if we want to. It haseverything we need, but most importantly, it allows us the freedom to go where we please which is all I really want.
I’m really excited about all the potential adventures this new van opens for me and Blondie, and I can’t wait to share them all with you!
I hope you’ll tune in for regular updates (pupdates?) and follow us along on our journey.