Pups On Piste by Jacqueline Lambert, Book Review, GuestPost

Pups On Piste

Today I am excited to post a book review of a brand new publication called Pups on Piste by Jacqueline Lambert. It features real life adventures during a skiiing trip to Italy with husband Mark and their adorable Cavapoos …. Kai, Rosie, Ruby and Lani.

As well as the book review Jackie has very kindly answered some questions which I was eager to know the answers to.

Here is what I asked :-

Jackie, you obviously love Cavapoos and just looking at your stunning photographs, I can see why. Please tell us why you chose this breed, what is special about Cavapoos, and how well they fit into your lifestyle.

Secondly, after extensive travelling with dogs, can you pass on any tips which will make life easier, and what doggy essentials do you pack before a trip?

P1030887 - Copy Pups On Piste

Here is what Jackie said :

Why we love Cavapoos. 
Mark and I were always fans of big dogs. My favourite breeds were large, athletic dogs like Dobermans, Weimaraners and Viszlas. Before we met, Mark had a Dalmatian and an English Pointer. Although I have always wanted a dog, long hours and long commutes meant that it was not possible while we were both working, but a canine family was always in the planning. Once we retired, we immediately started researching breeds that would be suitable for our lifestyle. 
A friend fostered a rescue Cavachon (Cavalier King Charles Spaniel crossed with a Bichon Frise). Teddy had the most adorable, happy and affectionate nature. We fell in love and would have adopted him had he not already been spoken for. We had never really heard of the now popular ‘Designer Dogs’ as the Poodle crosses are known. We liked the look and nature of a few Cockapoos (Cocker Spaniel / Poodle cross) whom we had petted on Bournemouth beach. They reminded Mark of Trixie, a stray that he had adopted as a child. She was a Poodle cross; in those days known as a Mongrel, rather than a Designer Dog! 
We wanted a loving dog with enough energy for long walks and small enough to travel with us in a caravan. Our research showed that the Cavapoo (Cavalier / Poodle cross) was everything that we wanted. Cavapoos tend to be calmer than other Spaniel crosses because The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel was bred as a lap dog rather than a working dog. Their Cavalier ancestry also means that Cavapoos are also usually a little bit smaller, although size does also depend whether the cross is made with a Toy, Miniature or Standard Poodle. Poodles were bred as water retrievers and are the second most intelligent breed of dog, next to the Border Collie. They are also very loyal. 
Cavapoos are intelligent, so are easy to train, but this also means that they do need plenty of mental stimulation. We are very active people. Even though they are small dogs, we were told that they could take ‘as much exercise as you want to throw at them’ – and we have spent some long days in the mountains with them. Like many Poodle crosses, they do not moult and are hailed as hypo-allergenic, although since they are a cross breed, this is not guaranteed – it depends if they inherit Poodle or Cavalier henes. The nature of their coat means that they do require regular grooming – a comb at least twice a week. And remember that the Poodle is a water retriever – Cavapoos LOVE playing in water and mud! The Poodle is a needy dog, so it is good to be aware that Cavapoos do suffer from separation anxiety and are not a good choice if they need to be left alone for long periods. This is not a problem for us, since we only leave The Fab Four for a few hours at a time when we go to ski. 
For us, Cavapoos are Practically Perfect! 

That’s really interesting. My daughter has a Cavapoo and I agree that they are intelligent and loyal with lots of energy.

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I went on to ask Jackie if she had any tips about travelling with dogs. Having spent the last few years doing just that, I knew that she would have some excellent tips.

Firstly, here is everything you need to know about Pups On Piste, along with my review.

Pups On Piste: A Ski Season In Italy


Jacqueline Lambert

Parables from On Piste and Off…  

Jackie and Mark share a passion for planks. When they married, just thirty-seven weeks after they first met, their ambition was to spend a full season in the Alps.

Pups on Piste is the story of their first three months in Monte Rosa with their four dogs, Cavapoos (Cavalier / Poodle cross) Kai, Rosie, Ruby and Lani. A little-known resort tucked under the second highest peak in Western Europe, one ski magazine placed Monte Rosa in ‘The Top 5 Off Piste Destinations In The World.’

Once there, they get lost, stranded, conduct experiments on the edge of control and take a Back-Country Ski Course in which one instructor’s advice is, “Don’t miss the turn or you’ll go over a cliff.”

Join them in legendary powder, where you will learn a multitude of invaluable lessons about skiing, winter walkies, the revenge of the snow chains, surviving a Viking invasion and how to remove snow balls from the belly of a dog.

Pups On Piste

Purchase Link

My Review Of Pups On Piste

I was intrigued to read this new publication by Jacqueline Lambert because it features not one, but four dogs! These are Cavapoos to be exact, (or ‘The Fab Four’) who embark on a three-month skiing trip with Jackie and her husband Mark in Monte Rosa, Northern Italy.

Pups on Piste is a humourous and incredibly informative factual account of the family’s exploits in a small Italian resort, well known for its off-piste skiing.

Jackie and Mark are travelling enthusiasts, and this is the first in the Adventure Travel With Dogs series. It follows the incredibly successful Adventure Caravanning With Dogs series, which includes three titles all documenting their extensive tours of Europe accompanied by their four-legged friends.

If you are thinking of taking up off-piste skiing I would highly recommend this book. It sets out the dangers of extreme weather, where something as simple as losing a glove can be a disaster. The risk of avalanches, crevices, and hidden rocks in mountainous regions, with extremely cold and changeable conditions, is highlighted clearly and concisely.

The descriptions of Monte Rosa are outstanding, making the book a must-have Italian travel companion or a winter sports destination to add to the bucket list.

Then there are the four dogs… Kai, Rosie, Ruby and Lani, all Cavalier King Charles Spaniels crossed with Poodles, making the popular Cavapoo breed. Although seasoned travellers the dogs had never experienced snow before and loved their daily afternoon walks and VIP status in the village.

If you want to find out more about Jackie, Mark and the dogs, please head over to World Wide Walkies blog where you can learn how the couple gave up work, bought a caravan called Kismet and set off,  travelling with ‘The Fab Four’.

The latest blog post  Living The Dream In Lockdown – Our First Month In Italian Isolation is a very interesting read under present circumstances.

1 Monte_Rosa Copy

Here are Jackie’s tips for travelling with dogs.

My Ten Tips for Travelling with Dogs
1. Vaccinations & Parasite Treatments – Make sure that your dog is up to date with all vaccinations and the most suitable parasite (worm, flea & tick) treatment for your destination, be it at home or abroad. This will help to keep your dog healthy and avoid emergencies while on the road. 
2. Get Them Used to Travel – Slowly get your dog used to your chosen mode of transport well ahead of time – be it the car or travel crate, so that he will be comfortable and calm on the trip. Some airlines allow one, small dog (usually under 8kg) in the cabin, but most treat dogs as freight, to be carried in the hold. We travel overland and favour ferries with pet-friendly cabins (which need to be booked well in advance!) so that we can all stay together on the journey. 
3. Tire Them Out Before Departure – A good walk before you set out will help your dog to sleep through a long journey.
4. Plan Comfort Breaks – Make sure that you schedule in sufficient stops for a leg stretch and pee poo. The website Driving with Dogs https://www.drivingwithdogs.co.uk/ lists walks near motorways in the UK, France and Ireland.   
4. Water – Make sure that clean, cool drinking water is always available. We use a Road Refresher non-spill water bowl which is excellent both in the car and out, since it reduces slobber and prevents soggy Spaniel ears! Use bottled water if you’re not sure of the water quality.
5. Food – Feed your dog at least an hour before you set off, so that he is not sick. We have food accessible if we are likely to be travelling during feeding time or in case we are delayed, although we avoid feeding during the journey and while the vehicle is in motion if possible. For short trips, you can take as much food as you need. In Europe, we have found most major food brands, such as Royal Canin or Eukanuba are readily available in supermarkets, although we frequently order our pups’ favourite food online from Zooplus and have it delivered to our destination.
6. BasicPet First Aid Kit – Your vet will be able to advise on the contents. We carry a Tick-o-twister tick removal tool, Clorhexidine antiseptic for cleaning cuts and grazes, Manuka honey natural antiseptic cream, dressings & cohesive bandages, which do not stick to fur, Cotton wool pads, disposable gloves & Surosolve ear drops, since Ruby and Rosie are prone to ear infections. Check that everything is in date before departure.
8. Entry Requirements When Travelling Abroad – If you are travelling abroad, check the entry requirements for the countries that you wish to visit. This website https://www.pettravel.com/passportnew.cfm lists the entry requirements for most countries in the world. Note that certain breeds, mostly fighting breeds, although this can include Staffies, are banned from entering or even crossing some countries, so check this out beforehand. To return to the UK, a tapeworm treatment must be administered and recorded correctly in the Pet Passport between 1 and 5 days or the dog will not be permitted to enter the country. Driving with Dogs and the websites for ferry companies and Eurotunnel list vets close to the crossing points who can administer the treatment. Some note whether the vets speak English. 
9. Travel Paperwork & Pet Passports – Visit your vet WELL AHEAD OF DEPARTURE, since it can take four months (or more if your dog fails some of the tests) to get all the tests and paperwork in order. Your vet can also advise on the most suitable protective treatments for the different strains of parasites that you may encounter abroad, against which your dog may have no immunity. 
10. Check Out Rules & Hazards Specific to your Destination – For example, were you aware that the spines from pine processionary caterpillars found across Europe can be fatal to your dog, even if the caterpillar is nowhere to be seen?; Or the hazards of the hunting season when trigger happy hunters and traps are out and about?; That dogs are not allowed on many beaches or in European National Parks, even on leads?; That muzzles are often required on public transport or on the ferry?; That you can be arrested and have your dog impounded if you have it in your car as you drive through Tehran? A little research goes a long way to ensuring happy and incident-free travel! 
Packing list. 
  • Water & water bowl + an extra large water bottle to cool down hot dogs in an emergency
  • Food & food bowls
  • Favourite blanket or toy
  • Crate, seatbelt harness or other form of restraint
  • Collar & Lead with up to date mobile number on the ID tag
  • Seat covers & window shades for the car
  • Doggy bed
  • Poo bags a’plenty + puppy pads & Odor Kill disinfectant if required
  • Prescription medication
  • Basic Doggy First Aid Kit
  • Muzzle 
  • Doggy coats
  • Solid doggy shampoo & towel (we use a plastic packing box as a bath!)
  • Grooming kit (comb, scissors & nail clippers)
  • Pet Passport & other medical documentation

I’m sure many people will find this advice invaluable, especially when travelling abroad. Thank you so much for this Jackie, I know that you have picked up these tips along the way and have experienced travelling with dogs extensively, so real hands-on advice there!

Thank you also for the amazing photographs of you and your dogs in Monte Rosa, the stunning location where Pups On Piste is based.


All Jacqueline Lambert’s books can be viewed here.

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Thank you to the author for a copy of Pups On Piste, which I have reviewed honestly.

I hope you loved reading about Jackie and her adventures with her dogs. Thank you again Jackie and I really hope that you and everyone else keeps safe and well.

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