On boarding the ferry we had to leave the dogs in the back of the car (yes, there was a tear in my eye I believe.. what a wuss I am) but after taking our overnight bags to our cabin we were summoned 40 minutes later to reception where the dog owners were gathered to be escorted through the bowels of the ship, away from public areas, back to our vehicles. The assorted canines were retrieved, muzzles fitted to reluctant snouts and then we were escorted back through the ship's innards to our respective cabins. We fitted the boys new bed under the desk and shoved the 'resident' chair in the shower cubicle.
We pulled out of Portsmouth at 10.50pm and prepared ourselves to settle down and hit the sack. However, Fletcher was utterly disdainful of the dog walking/toilet facilities provided and managed to 'hold himself' for some 26 hours despite Joe and I spending a number of hours walking up and down, up and down the dog exercise area trying to encourage a reluctant Labrador to go. Every time we encountered another dog owner we were asked 'Has he been yet?' Come Tuesday morning the bunting was hoisted as Fletcher finally gave in just before we disembarked and started the long trek overland to our winter retreat in southern Spain of which more tomorrow.