Animals Video

By Kim Reader


Meet the 10stone Saint Bernard who could be the UK’s most adventurous pooch – as he enjoys mountain climbing, boat rides, caving and even sharing a TENT with dad and daughter travel buddies.

Gentle giant Wilfred, a four-year-old Saint Bernard, goes on a new adventure every weekend with single dad Jon Morgan, 42, and 11-year-old schoolgirl Holly Morgan.

Come rain or shine, the dad and daughter duo take their huge hound everywhere with them whether it’s hiking in the Welsh valleys or scaling the fells of the Lake District.

Aerial photographer Jon captures every moment of the trusty trio’s expeditions in stunning snaps and footage – including plenty of hilarious shots of Wilfred fast asleep in front of majestic landscapes.

And the dad-of-one says his videos of Wilfred sporting his sunglasses on a boat, bounding through snow and snoozing next to a raging waterfall have turned the canine into a not-so-little celebrity.

Jon, of Widnes, Cheshire, said: “We just have lots and lots of adventures. We are never sat still for long. We get out and about at least every weekend, it’s just what we do.

PIC FROM MERCURY PRESS

“We’re always in the Lake District. There are so many stunning, stunning walks and it’s so dog friendly.

“Wilfred loves going swimming and going on boat rides. He does have to stay very still when he’s in the boat though, it’s a good job he’s so chilled.

“He’s not a small dog so every time he moves even a millimetre, I have to tell Hollie to move to rebalance the boat otherwise we’d end up in the water. I definitely don’t fancy that in the winter.

“And all the climbing up the mountains is such great exercise for him and us. He’s a really strong, healthy dog.

“He probably would prefer I didn’t drag him up mountains at 5am in the morning but he usually has a good snooze when we get to the top.

“He is a great companion, not just for travelling but for everything. We go everywhere together.

“There have even been times we’ve had to share a tent. It might not sound ideal but when it’s cold, it’s quite nice to have a great big dog to snuggle up to.

“Getting out and about and exploring new places all the time has also made mine and Hollie’s relationship so much stronger. There’s such a strong bond between all three of us.

PIC BY JON MORGAN/MERCURY PRESS

“And it gives me a chance to get loads of great photos. It’s just for fun but people love it when I share them and it’s turned Wilfred into a bit of a celebrity.

“People stop us wherever we go, some even ask ‘Is that Wilfred?’ I think for a lot of people it’s just so nice to see a Saint Bernard, they’re a magical breed, and he’s in the mountains where he should be.

“It’s really nice to see him getting that attention. All our adventures are just wonderful. Getting out into nature is just the best way to reset.

“It doesn’t matter what kind of week you’d had, a good adventure will leave you feeling refreshed and relaxed.”

After their epic escapades, Jon, Hollie and Wilfred usually head to a dog friendly pub to warm up and get some food.

When Hollie came to live with her dad four and a half years ago, Jon decided it was time to get a puppy as he believes they have a positive influence on any home.

PIC BY JON MORGAN/MERCURY PRESS

The dad and daughter handpicked Wilfred – whose name is a combination of his mum’s, Wilma, and his dad’s, Fred – for his mischievous character.

And the hefty ‘lump of love’ has been bringing the little family joy ever since.

Jon said: “Wilfred is such a good dog, he’s a 10st lump of love like the Barry White of the dog world.

“He’s so funny, he’s got these humungous paws that look like they have been stuck on at a later date. He’s a gentle giant but he’s got that cheeky side too.

“He and Hollie have such a lovely relationship. Sometimes we all walk to school together and you can tell she is so proud of him. All her friends love him too.

“Not many dogs would be so completely relaxed about getting into a boat but Wilfred is just ready to take on anything.”