Thursday, May 30, 2013


I'm sitting with my cup of coffee wishing it was something stronger. Should that be a concern at 9am? I'm just back in from the morning walk and it all got a bit too much. We managed to get most of the walk in uneventfully and the new training technique was working rather well. We got to the home straight and it all started to unravel, very very quickly.
Farah ran off into the field and so after much calling she returned only to be distracted by the old man walking down the street.  I called her back and I could see the hesitation and so when she did come to me the only thing for me to do was put her on the lead.

This was a mistake but as she was being a bit wayward and I didn't trust that she wouldn't make a beeline for the man. Sensing the tension the the nice old man stopped to pass comment on how quiet she was that was her que to go mental.

I tried to shout over the frantic barking that we are still trying to train her and she can get a bit protective. He tried to tell me about his dog but then the most interesting thing happened. Charlie and Titch appeared. Now I like to watch the dynamics of this little threesome and it mirrors human behaviour so much it really makes me wonder.

Charlie is a big old English Sheep Dog and Titch is a little bitch, in more ways than one. We moved in next door with a younger model and Charlie's head got turned as they say. Titch does a lot of growling and barking at Farah and Charlie often comes and stands in between them to break it up, literally. Farah who has had her girl bits removed just wants to play and at 3 times her size seems to enjoy tormenting her. 

Today however was a bit different. There must have been something in her bark. Charlie and Titch, having just let this nice old man walk past them, were soon at her side and ready to turn on the old man and it's the first time I've heard Charlie bark, and can he bark. I'm use to the three of them but together they make a fierce trio. So I'm trying to calm them both down and give them a biscuit and Titch is by the gate, protecting the home, but watching the action. The poor old man shuffles away and then a car comes along and has to do an emergency stop to avoid the on looking Titch. Suddenly caught in the middle Charlie runs back to protect his woman and all that's left to do is for the two men in the big silver mercedes to drive past laughing at my harassed state.

Sitting here recovering from my trauma I get to thinking they aren't so unlike us. They can obviously communicate with each other, when they are scared, happy and when they think they might need help. They get jealous and protective. Charlie like most, sorry all men will show the young lay next door a bit too much attention. And Farah, like most single women, might not be interested in the old man next door sexually but it's always nice to have a big strong man around when you need them. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Dog Friendly Dublin

Things to do

Parks and Walks
Luckily Dublin has beaches that your dog will love. Portmarnack and Malahide beaches are good but there are some restrictions in the summer months. You can check out the info you need on the following website: ListofBeaches in Dublin

If you want to avoid the sand on the North side there is a nice walk way alone the sea wall where many people walk their dogs. For me it was an 'on lead walk' as there was lots of people running which my dog thinks is great fun...the runners however, do not. 

I tried a few places but as yet have not been successful in finding a bar that lets me in with the dog!

Places to Eat
Not guaranteed but a possibility... Read my review on Clontarf Castle and see the lovely comment the manager made. 
There seems to be lots of places that let dogs sit on the terrace but that's not really practical for most of the year!

Doggy Day Care I can not recommend this place highly enough. It was a fantastic find. My dog sitter let me down at the last minute and so I called them at 7am in the morning and they took the dog for me. It was really cleaned and friendly and there were people in with the dogs doing activities with them. She was put in a holding pen while the dog trainer/psychologist assessed her (This is normally done pre going into the first session so try and plan ahead) before she was put in with the other dogs and she came out really ready for a sleep. I put her there the second day and she loved it. They said they might give her some time out if she gets too tired but there was no way they would have been able to pull her away from the game of doggy football she was paying when I picked her up. Wonderful! I didn't use it but you can get the Luas from just outside into the centre of Dublin. 


B & B 
Ferryview B&B - Great Location and it is nice for walking the dog on the street opposite. However, read my tripadvisor review and judge for yourself! Ferryview Trip Advisor Review I went here because it was close to my family but I don't think I would stay again. 

Brookville in Blackrock is a great option. We stayed here at the last minute as we had to make an unexpected stop in Dublin for a funeral. There were great and they provided a lovely bed and blanket for the dog. This is very handy for the doggy day care if you want to make a day of it and leave the dog to have some fun.

Jealous looking out the window

As usual I'm sitting at my office window and looking longingly and with a huge amount of jealously at the dog walkers. Their dogs are walking a few steps away from them having a sniff and a look around. 
We had a particularly difficult walk today. I let her off the lead and she was away. I stood in the street calling her back to me to no avail. I had recently been given the advice that I should go and get her and bring her by the scruff of her neck (it doesn't hurt) back to the spot I was. Once there I should get her to sit and give her a treat like she did it all on her own. 
Mmmmmm this may work if your dog doesn't run away every time you get close to her thinking you are playing a game. 
So today was a particularly long walk as I had to retrieve my retriever and then doubled back a number of times. The final straw came for both me and her when I called her and she didn't come back. We were a little later on our route than normal due to the recall difficulties and she was lured by the barking of the dog. She stepped onto their territory and got a very frosty reception with double the trouble and suddenly she couldn't come back to me quick enough. 
Back on the lead she walked along very nicely but I long for the day I can let her off the lead without a quickening of the heart rate and looking a complete idiot in the street calling a dog that takes no heed at all. 

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Just back from the very dog friendly Ardilaun Hotel Galway

We have just spent two lovely nights in the Ardilaun. It was my birthday weekend and of course I wanted to bring the dog. We found the Ardilaun on the Internet and they claimed they are dog friendly and I was delighted to find that they are.
We booked a pamper package with 2 nights bed and breakfast with a treatment for €130 each.
We checked in about 3 and our room wasn't quite ready and so we walked the dog round the grounds for a while. When we got into the room there was a dog bowl with a treat for her. It had laminate floor so we could let her drink her water.
They have four or five rooms on the ground floor that have patio doors onto the garden so it was great. They allow dogs into the seating area at the reception where you can also order food. The dog loved sitting in front of the fire and we enjoyed a two course meal for €21.
We ordered breakfast to the room at an extra cost of €5 each as our one barks when left so we didn't want to disturb the other guests. It cost €15 per night for the dog to stay but they do some good deals and it is a walkable (all be it a long one) into the centre of Galway.
We were a little surprised to find our room wasn't made up when we returned at 3pm to get ready for our spa package but other than that it was great. We will definitely be back.

The Ardilaun Hotel, Co. Galway 
Tel: +353 (0)91 52 14 33
"Excellent hotel. Dog in room, and they accommodate you on ground floor near the back garden, so you can come and go as you please, even late at night!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Doggy Idioms

Having a look for some doggy expressions and came across lots of idioms both positive and negative....Here are a few to keep you going!

a dog and pony show
a dog in the manger
a dog's breakfast
a shaggy dog story
as sick as a dog
barking dog never bites
be as sick as a dog
be like a dog with a bone
be like a dog with two tails
Better be the head of a dog than the tail of a lion
bring a dog to heel
call off the dogs
call the dogs off
crooked as a barrel of fish hooks
dirty dog
dog and pony show
dog ate my homework
Dog does not eat dog
dog eat dog
done up like a dog's dinner

Every dog has its day
fight like cat and dog
Give a dog a bad name
go to pot
go to see a man about a dog
go to the dogs
hair of the dog that bit
have a dog's chance
Hot diggety!
hot dog
Hot dog!
I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy
If you lie down with dogs, you will get up with fleas
It's a dog's life
It's raining cats and dogs!
It's raining pitchforks
lead a dog's life
Let sleeping dogs lie
like a blind dog in a meat market
Love me, love my dog
lucky dog

meaner than a junkyard dog
put a dog off the scent
put on the dog
rain cats and dogs
raining cats and dogs
see a man about a dog
shaggy-dog Story
shouldn't happen to a dog
sick as a dog
tail wagging the dog
the dog days
the hair of the dog
the tail wagging the dog
the top dog
There's life in the old dog yet
throw to the dogs
Why keep a dog and bark yourself?
work like a dog
You can't teach an old dog new tricks
You cannot teach an old dog new tricks

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Dealing with Seperation

We had made plans to go out for dinner as it is the last night for the in-laws and I had been thinking most of the day what to do about the dog. I had been reading up on line and there were a few helpful suggestions. We've been practising the 'come here' thing for the times when she runs off and it worked quite well yesterday when she got loose at the blow hole. I wanted to tire her out so once we got past the Dulux dog and it's yappy side kick's house I let her off the lead. My main concern is the cars and even though she ran wild like a banshee she generally doesn't go to far away from me. However, the 'come here' didn't work all the time but I'm not sure she could hear me over the wind. Once we got back I spent the next 45 mins preventing her from sleeping. I then kept her distracted while I cleared the hallway as leaving the dog in the kitchen wasn't working. The last time I came back and it was nowhere to be seen. I was rather puzzled and then there it was locked in the pantry surrounded by treats. Luckily most of them her own.

So with all potential chewable things out of the way I got the visitors to go out so there wasn't the 20 min build up we've been having, put some food down for her and we left. 

We had a lovely dinner, a warm fisherman's platter. It had crab claws, muscles, salmon, cod and prawns. I've got to say it was all really good except for the cod. It did redeem itself as I was most put out by the fact they have changed the menu and removed the muscles. I had been planning on having them all week. Unfortunately I got prematurely excited by the change in menu. The boarder has changed to blue and they've removed my favourite dish but the rest is more or less the same.....

At the end of dinner I didn't want to hang around and was anxious to get back to see what destruction I would have to clear up. I got to the door and there was no barking. Then I saw the door to the sewing room, well it's one of the spare rooms but the husband needs a clue, was open. My heart sank. That's where I had stored all the shoes from the front door, including the unworn, new shoes to replace the chewed ones and my new coat among lots of other stuff.

It took a while for it to come to the door and then I walked into the room without even taking my boots off. I couldn't believe what I saw. nothing. everything was in tact. Nothing chewed.

So I don't know if it was letting the dog run around to tire it, not making a fuss, giving the food, putting it in the hall instead of the kitchen or that it got to sleep on the spare bed. Whatever it was it worked. No chewed mats, no broken ceramic bowl, no chewed shoes....nothing. We didn't make a fuss when we got back and so I have a huge sense of relief. It just means I have to replicate it every time I want to leave. But that should be fine cause now I have all the gear. 

Night x 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Brandling Villa, Newcastle, UK - The Top Dog

I came across this post which is one on the list to try!

Now there is no need for the clientele of The Brandling Villa, Newcastle to leave their best friends behind when they go out for a drink.

The pub’s landlord has introduced a beer specially formulated for dogs, as well as a canine pub-grub menu in case the session leaves them feeling peckish. The must have dish on the menu is a Sunday roast served with ‘cat-flavoured’ gravy – don’t worry, it’s actually fish-based.

The dog beer is made from the same stuff as human beer – malt and hops – but it also contains meat extract.

Manager Dave Carr says he aims to create a traditional atmosphere with a modern twist, which includes encouraging owners to bring their pets.

“I scoped the internet looking for ridiculous stuff, and we became dog-friendly. There aren’t many pubs you can go to with your dog”, says Carr. “Dog friendly is really the way it should be. Pubs should have wooden floors and dogs in front of the fire.” He says that his customers seem to love the new idea and that his first supply of dog beer has sold out in no time.

How much would I like to see pubs like this in Ireland?

Here's my beef

Being a dog owner is new to me. We moved to Ireland for a lifestyle change and part of that was getting a dog. To be honest my husband who had never been allowed a pet as a child cause his parents don't like them was very keen. I had a dog as a child and tried to talk him out of it. We eventually agreed to get one and I started looking on the ISPCA website I did lots of research about which breed and wanted a labrador cross but was determined to get a rescue dog. Then one day I say a photo of this cute looking labrador collie cross and all reservations when out the window. 

I did a lot of research about dogs before getting one but the one thing I didn't count on was the 'attitude' of, in the most part, Ireland has towards dogs. I love going back to England and having dinner in the pub with my friends and catching up over drinks but in Ireland.....

Where I live I can't even get so much as a sandwich if the dog is with me unless I am prepared to sit outside. The weather is in the most part great but the temperature would give me chilblains.

I suppose that a lot of dogs, especially where I live, are working dogs. Dogs are left to walk themselves and owners do not clean up after their four legged friends. 

So this blog is about discovering dog-friendly Ireland. In these current economic times being dog friendly could be a real boost for business. Certainly in England the places we go often have more than just our dog and for sure they would not have got that business if they weren't dog friendly.

The majority of tourists to Ireland are from England and every time I go over on the ferry there are a lot of dogs travelling. 48% of UK households have a pet - 23% are dogs which is around 8 million dogs. (source: That's a lot of potential customers to exclude from your business.

So I want to highlight those places that are dog friendly and hope that all pet lovers will give them their business.