Unveiling of the New Range Rover Velar | Step inside some of the planet’s most exclusive homes | Man’s relationship with dogs | An epic drive through the Isle of Skye | The legendary Beechcraft Bonanza takes to the Skies
TRUSTED TAIL-WAGGERS “DOGS SHARE OUR SENSE OF ADVENTURE, It’s a scene most dog owners will know A L W A Y S and love: car all revved up, tank full, diary cleared, and your loyal friend roaming READY around your feet in blissful circles, eagerly anticipating that familiar nod to signal the TO JUMP start of a new journey. Going for a ride with IN THE BACK” your dog is one of those hard-to-put-yourfinger-on everyday events that bring out the very best of the age-old relationship between man and pet. A recent discovery at the Blick Mead excavation site near the prehistoric Stonehenge monument in southern England has helped shed light on just how unique – and ancient – that bond really is. Buried between burnt stones, ancient wooden tools and fossilised aurochs’ bones, a single dog’s tooth was unearthed by excavators working in the site’s muddy pits, just off the A303 trunk road. The fossil, they found out, came from a dog roughly of the same size as a German Shepherd, likely to have found its last resting place at Stonehenge some 7,500 years ago. What is more, analysis showed that the mystery canine had drunk water from the Vale of York area 250 miles away – meaning that it would have had to make one of the earliest recorded journeys in Britain to end up in the dugouts of Blick Mead. This made the researchers offer an extraordinary conclusion: the dog was likely to have made the arduous journey from York to Stonehenge as a hunting dog, wagging its tail at its prehistoric owner’s side as the pair moved south. The Stonehenge tooth, they said, was the earliest proof in British history of a human going for a walk with a domesticated dog. That first bonding journey between man and animal is likely to have served a purely practical purpose. Early domesticated dogs, researchers say, served as watchdogs and hunting partners, lending primitive societies a paw by seeking out game and guarding territories against predators and enemies. Fast forward several thousand years, and that relationship has now changed profoundly. As society has matured, the bond between man and his best friend has evolved with it. “Walking the dog” is no longer just a means to survival, but a staple ingredient in the healthy lifestyle of hundreds of millions of happy dog THERE IS NO BETTER VEHICLE owners – and dogs – all across the globe. THAN A LAND ROVER In recent years, researchers have come TO GET THE BEST OUT OF to understand just how beneficial that LIFE WITH YOUR DOG. relationship is. Studies have shown that Land Rover engineers and dog owners enjoy various health and designers are constantly looking social benefits from dog walking, including at new features specifically aimed improved fitness, lower blood pressure at dog owners and exciting and lower stress levels. As non-judgmental developments are on their way. partners roaming streets, open land or To see the latest range of genuine forests by our side, the affection dogs Land Rover Gear accessories, show us when being offered a walk has search Land Rover Accessories been shown to have considerable mental health benefits for owners, including improved self-esteem. Dog owners are less likely to suffer from depression than non-dog owners, and from a sociological point of view, people who walk dogs are seen by other people as friendly and approachable. Today, of course, we not only walk the lands, but also drive them. This offers us and our dogs the spectacle of “the ride”, a joyful highlight for both dog and owner, where the trivialities of the daily grind are replaced with a taste of thrill and adventure, even if just for a moment. While not all dog breeds are adventurous by nature, going for a ride triggers most dogs’ curiosity and love for discovery, allowing them to indulge in all things novel and unpredictable. A car ride is a sensory feast for any four-legged friend. Some dog breeds have more than 200 million olfactory receptors in their noses compared to the human’s five million, so cracking open the car window literally offers a dog a smorgasbord of wonderful new passing impressions to marvel at as you bump down the roads. The same goes for some of the instincts that your dog may still share with its Stonehenge ancestor. Some researchers theorise that riding in the cabin of a roving, bouncing car offers dogs a sensation of being “back in the pack”, moving at high speed in synchronised movement with its favourite pack member of all (that would be you), as passing objects trigger age-old instincts of chasing or hunting. Jumping into the car becomes more than just an opportunity for the two of you to get away – it may actually be a chance for your dog to experience a momentary return to a deep-rooted primal state of bliss. Whether at the end of a lead, chasing tennis balls at the park, or riding along next to us on the open roads, dogs have a natural, inherent talent for making us happy. And it’s a gift they have evolved to perfection as the millennia have passed. They make every homecoming a celebration fitting a returning world traveller. They urge us out of bed, cold nose shoved to bare skin, tail wagging gleefully as we crack one eye open. “Ready to get going?” they manage to convey, and so we are. They whirl in a frenzy of excitement at the prospect of a ride, whether around the block or into the wilds. Whether asleep at our side, running far afield, or playing co-pilot on our next journey, dogs share our sense of adventure, always ready to jump in the back, oblivious of mud-caked paws, just hoping the satellite navigation is turned off because as with us, adventure is in their DNA. 58
“STUDIES HAVE SHOWN THAT DOG OWNERS ENJOY VARIOUS HEALTH AND SOCIAL BENEFITS FROM DOG WALKING, INCLUDING IMPROVED FITNESS, LOWER BLOOD PRESSURE AND LOWER STRESS LEVELS” 59
Land Rover Magazine showcases stories from around the world that celebrate inner strength and the drive to go Above and Beyond.
In this issue, New Defender is put through its paces by two inspirational young adventurers as they prepare for an expedition to the South Pole. We also celebrate 50 years of Range Rover by taking a journey of discovery to Dubai. As well as looking back, we look to future as a group of visionaries explain the technologies that could change the future for all of us.