A couple who wanted to share a travelling adventure with their beloved dog have quit their jobs and spent two years taking him around Europe.
Pete the Border Terrier, now 10, is travelling across the continent to see famous landmarks on a tour most of us could only dream of.
He’s chased balls on Spanish beaches and hiked up the Alps, chewed a bone under the Leaning Tower of Pisa and sailed on the canal boats of Venice.
Pictured, left, Pete enjoys a break in Paris and, right, he is pictured standing next to the leaning tower of Pisa in Italy as his owners quit their jobs to take him on a two-year sightseeing tour of the continent
Jo Partington, left, and Natasha Cooper, right, have taken two years out to travel around Europe with Pete
Pete (pictured) is touring the beaches of Europe and has taken to the canals of Venice on a gondola (right) as part of his sightseeing adventure
Pete the Border Terrier has a stroll in the French Alps as he continues his tour of sightseeing across Europe
His owners, Jo Partington, 54 and Natasha Cooper, 48 from Hove, East Sussex, decided to give up their careers in health and social care, two years ago, load up their car and travel around Europe so they could all spend more time together.
Ms Cooper said: ‘We had a friend who was very poorly and we just decided that life is too short, and wanted an adventure and freedom, rather than continuing to work long hours in stressful jobs.’
‘We thought ‘why are we waiting until retirement to do stuff, Pete is getting older so why don’t we do them now?’
Pete is pictured at the Temple of Diana in Italy. His owners are taking the 10-year-old on a jaunt around the world after a friend’s illness made them think that life is too short to put off interesting experiences
Pete the Border Terrier has cruised the canals of Venice, Italy, wearing a themed T-shirt as he clambered about the gondala
‘He is used to travel, having been on buses, tubes and trains from a puppy, and has a harness and his bed, where he sleeps at the back of the car. He is a very chilled little boy. We want to give him the best adventures and we want to share them with him.
‘Camping is a fine way of meeting people and most camps are dog friendly, so we get to meet other people who are mad about their dogs as well.
‘Pete loves the places that have a beach or a piazza-he loves taking his ball to other people to play with him, particularly kids. It’s an adventure because we don’t have a certain agenda.
‘Being able to go on the gondola in Venice was incredible, taking him on massive hikes in the French Alps was just amazing, and walking around Pompeii with Pete was great- and what’s equally wonderful is that you don’t have to worry about your dog being at home, bored.
Pictured: Pete sits among the ruins of Pompeii during his tour of the continent. Jo Partington and Natasha Cooper say they want to give him the best experiences while he’s still healthy enough to appreciate them
‘The only place we weren’t able to take him was the Chapel of Bones in Evora, Portugal- we thought it wouldn’t be such a good idea with all those bones.
‘Pete is a very laid back, chilled dog so takes all the travelling and change in his stride- he loves engaging other people in playing ball so everywhere they go he entertains the crowds in piazzas and parks by taking his ball to them and encouraging them to throw it or kick it for him.
‘Playing ball with 50 people in an afternoon is his current world record, achieved in the Piazza Maggiore, Bologna.
‘Natasha and Jo love the fact he makes so many people smile- Pete certainly likes to ‘share the love’. ‘
Starting his adventure in August 2017, Pete has since been to France, Italy, Monaco, Portugal, Spain, Ireland and Wales- where Pete and his owners stay mostly in camp sites, or apartments from Airbnb or Booking.com to help keep costs low.
Pete has been hiking in the Alps, visited historical sites and landmarks like Pompeii, Italy, climbed the Asanelli Tower in Bologna, rode in a gondola in Venice, swam in Oliva and Denia beaches in Spain, and even worked as chief guest greeter at a chalet in the French Alps where Jo and Natasha were helping out.
The couple, who have had Pete since he was only 8 weeks old, thought Italy was the most dog-friendly country and were excited to see Pete making so many new friends.
The family’s future plans include a trip to Northern Europe, including Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden starting next month. The following year Pete is set to play ball in Central Park in New York.
Pete is pictured in Dublin with a Guinness on one of the many stops of his sightseeing tour
Ms Cooper said: ‘We are trying to avoid reality for as long as possible, we’ll come back from New York next year and possibly travel a bit more around the UK or head back across to Europe but we don’t know yet, that’s a year away.
‘We decided we’d rather spend the money now, while we are healthy and fit and able to do things like climb Mount Etna, rather than wait another 20 years, when who knows what life will throw at you.
‘Our priorities changed from planning a good retirement to living a great life. We also try to live within a tight budget, like anyone would living at home – we like to cook so love going to the shops and markets to buy local, in season, produce and eat at ‘home’.
‘As everything has to fit in the car we also don’t spend money buying things like new clothes, souvenirs or things for a normal home life- we pretty much have the same clothes now as we packed two years ago.
‘We also have done chalet maid and decorating jobs where we work for our board and food-this was a fun new experience and chance to stay longer in a place and get to know the area and local people.’