It’s finally March and the grim days of February are behind us – as far as I’m concerned, this means that it’s all good from here on in.
For example, there are daffodils growing in our back yard again: five years ago, when Fudge first came to live with us having been surrendered to the ISPCA in Keenagh, she chewed all the flowers down to stumps and this is the first year that they have bloomed since. She has only picked one so far this year so I’m counting that as a win, although I suppose it’s early days yet. It was her adoptaversary on Sunday last, and Facebook has been showing me her puppy photos all this week in my Memories feed. She was super-cute then, and she’s still gorgeous now; it reminds me all over again how lucky we are to have these dogs in our lives.
Well, March wouldn’t be March if we didn’t start thinking about the fact that the first Bank Holiday of the year is getting ever closer and, let’s face it, it’s pretty much the best one too because it’s Paddy’s Day. And in 2017, it’s on a Friday which means we can all settle down to a long weekend of celebrating what it means to be Irish. There are the usual staggering number of parades and events going on around the country so wherever you and your four-legged friends reside, there’s bound to be some fun happening nearby.
Galway has an amazing track record when it comes to St. Patrick’s day parades, and the line-up for this year looks to be exemplary as usual. As an added helpful feature, the local tourist board have listed some dog-friendly hotels if you’re heading in that direction. Sounds perfect for a long weekend, don’t you think? It’s undoubtedly true that the range of accommodation available to those of us travelling with canine companions has come along in leaps and bounds during recent years – why not take advantage of the increasing number of pet-friendly hotels to plan your own get-away, and to see more of this beautiful country that we live in? You can find a few more suggestions here.
If you prefer to stay closer to home for the long weekend, how about some cooking? Green oatmeal snacks for your doggy? Look no further: Sugar’s got the recipe for you! I’m going to give these a try in the hope that all that fresh parsley will improve doggy breath for our three! If you’re having a pint or two, there’s no reason to leave your dog out – I swear I’ve seen it all now! – as, apparently, dog beer is an actual thing. A quick scuttle around Google shows me that this perhaps is more popular than I ever would have thought. I hope it goes without saying that your dog, or any other pet, should never be encouraged to drink, or be given, alcoholic beverages of any kind; it can lead to ethanol poisoning which can be extremely dangerous to pets. This article gives details of what to do if your pet drinks something it shouldn’t but please don’t take any chances with your animal’s safety. Keep all pints and measures out of the reach of your dogs at all times. (You might read that as ‘keep a glass in your hands at all times’ but that’s probably not what I meant… Still, interpret as you see fit!)
Of course, for those of you with smaller dogs, the celebrations offer an excellent opportunity to show off your pup’s impeccable wardrobe. Irish Small Knits are based in Bantry and sell on Etsy. Here you will find some tasteful, handmade doggy jumpers and collars/neckwarmers in really lovely colours – given the gale howling around my house at this moment, it seems as if some extra layers may not go amiss for a while longer. You might also consider this over-the-collar bandana with a shamrock pattern made by Oreo’s Pawsome Bowtique in Dublin who’s also selling on Etsy. Of course, if you don’t mind shopping further afield, there is a huge selection of green goodness available that will make your furry friend the envy of their peers.
While I was looking up a little more information on St. Patrick, I came across a website called Pilgrim Path which gives details on a number of hikes with religious significance in Ireland. As dogs are not welcome on some of these trails, I wondered if any other sites had compiled any good dog-walking suggestions, especially now the mornings and evenings are brighter for longer. There are some excellent suggestions here; they have given details of walks in Dublin, Wicklow, Wexford, and Waterford – lots of my personal favourites are included. They might be just the thing for walking off a hangover on the Saturday or Sunday after Paddy’s Day and will set you up for a nice big lunch or dinner afterwards. (One of these spots might do the trick if you’re in and around Dublin – I’m putting them all on my ‘To Do’ list this year!)
Whatever you decide to do with your long weekend, I hope you have a wonderful time with your family, your pets, and your friends. I’m off to find a leprechaun hat for Ronnie – I reckon his big head can take it!