Pipper is polvorilla. Its own name already says it: it is a mixture between «pepper» (pepper, in English) and «piper» (pepper, in Basque). They named him because he did not stop. Especially when there is a ball in between. It is the first "influencer" dog in Spain, a dog of the Parson Russell Terrier race that is dedicated to traveling with its owner Pablo Muñoz Gabilondo all over the world. For this journalist from San Sebastian settled in Madrid, this is his first dog and he wants to do something special with him: to know the most touristic points of Spain from his own experience. Thus, it has several social networks and a web page, where it is publishing its day to day. Although it seems a cliché, this couple is inseparable, so much so that their main objective is to promote "dog friendly" tourism in our country.
Pipper was born in May 2016 in Borda Txiki, at the foot of Mount Adarra, two steps from San Sebastian. His owner says he is affectionate and loves being with his mother, Kika, as well as playing with the sheep and chickens of his northern home. However, he has another more transcendental passion: hiking to discover new places to run and play ball.
Its owner, Pablo, daily uploads several videos and photos of his travels through Catalonia, Castilla y León -region of which he is a tourist ambassador-, Galicia, Asturias, Madrid and the Basque Country. On their trip to San Sebastian, for example, they were received by the deputy mayor, Ernesto Gasco, who was in charge of putting Pipper's handkerchief for the Semana Grande in Donostia. Thus, he became, almost by chance, the first tourist dog that travels the country to highlight those places and establishments that he finds are friends with dogs.
"He gets very happy every time he gets on the car, the train or the bike … If that makes him so happy, why would not we go around Spain together?" Explains Pablo Muñoz Gabilondo to LA RAZÓN. "We know that other countries are ahead of Spain in this area, but it is also true that here, little by little, there are more public and private resources that welcome people who want to move with their pets." Although in recent years pets have been excluded from certain places, more and more Spaniards demand that they open the doors to these services. In fact, these spaces are a business niche in the Spanish tourism sector, but they also help to socialize people and can influence less abandonment of animals.
The challenge of going back to Spain began in May 2018 and will end in May 2019: a full year to visit a total of 50 destinations. That is the initial plan. "It is impressive how Pipper poses and acts as if he were another tourist," says his owner, who is open to new proposals that his followers want to make through their website and also their social networks.
"Normally we travel by train and car. However, the day we went to Palma de Mallorca, for example, we took the plane. It was Pipper's first time in one and it was like home: we traveled together in the cabin without problems, "says Muñoz. One of his most exciting experiences took place at the Casa Batlló in Barcelona, one of Gaudí's most emblematic works in Barcelona. In it, they admit the entrance of a dog per person, without limit of size, but that has to go tied and under the careful supervision of its owner.
«Posing for photos is like a game: we try to make him calm and he likes what I prepare him», explains Muñoz. Of course, with a warning: "That a cat does not appear, because then his instinct comes out and the session is over".
Even all those who want to enjoy their pets as Pipper and Pablo, have the help of the City of Bilbao, which has enabled several recreational areas where they can go loose. "The most rewarding aspect of this project is that, when they meet Pipper and explain the trend of tourism with pets, there are places that go on to admit educated pets in an orderly manner. They have already taken the step in the San Isidoro de León Museum ̶ the Sistine Chapel of the Romanesque ̶, the Casa Batlló de Gaudí ̶ in Barcelona ̶ or the Church of the Stars ̶ in Palencia ̶. We tell everything on the web: pipperontour.com», Says Muñoz.
On the contrary, it states that "in Santander, the entry and permanence of dogs in restaurants, bars, cafeterias and the like, as well as in public, sporting and cultural venues and shows, is absolutely prohibited. Also those dedicated to the manufacture, sale, storage, transport or handling of food, health centers, pharmacies and public bodies ».
«In Asturias, they told us about the" Perriplano ", a geolocalized list of dog places that is done with citizen collaboration and that also includes a lot of useful resources», clarifies this couple, fascinated by meeting people looking for the same thing as them : the inclusion of pets in the human world. "In Spain, only 16 percent of hotels accept pets and many with limitations," he concludes. «Hence, our desire to do things so that, in the future, traveling with a pet is easy. In our case, it is worth mentioning the help that the Junta de Castilla y León, Renfe, Bayer, Trixie and Dingonatura have given us. Thanks to them, our goal of being tourists has been possible ».