7. The Emerald isle
Ireland & a fat lip…
She was traveling again that Summer. She went over to County Cork on the south west tip of Southern Ireland to hang out for a fortnight for her Summer holidays.
She stayed in a place called Rosscarberry which is in a lovely neck of the woods.
The first day she got there loads of little Irish children kept coming up to ask about her.
Dogs are obviously a big deal in rural Irish culture & her unique appearance drew crowds of inquisitive & super friendly kids. Ronnine is very gentle with children and every one of them got the big tail wags that are her trademark.
They loved her to bits & were all intrigued & asking what kind of hound she was & if she was there to race..?
She knew nothing about it, but it turned out that by chance, she had arrived smack in the middle of the Roscarberry family festival. This is a majorly big deal for the whole town & local area.
The entire community take part in a wide variety of totally crazy, drink fuelled & very much family friendly activities, over the course of one really mad week.
That very night the children told her, there was apparently going to be a massive dog race up through the village square.
There was also supposed to even be a pig race through the streets that evening as well. As the day went on & she came back from her adventures in the woods, to visit the local bars, it turned out that everything the little children had said was actually true & the whole town was buzzing with anticipation…
The village square was transformed, with barriers etc. & there were hundreds of people of all ages from around the locality, pensioners, babies, everyone.
The whole outdoor festivities didn’t kick off until around 9pm & they went on late into the night.
Loads of people had brought their dogs along to race. After a few pints of the Murphys & intense pressure from the local children, it was decided Ronnie should enter…
All the dogs lined up & it was really, really, exciting. A man had a kind of teddy bear thing on a rope attached to a winch, so he could reel it in really quickly & all the dogs could chase it like greyhounds do, all the way up the village square through the crowd.
As the tension built at the start of the race, all Ronnie’s little Irish friends that she had met over the course of the day began shouting & chanting her name – It was just the most surreal moment…
Ronnie is not used to that level of noise, all the crowds & the attention. It was intense – far too intense…
Just before the gun went off to begin the race, Ronnie slipped her collar, false started & basically just went completely loopy…
She ran off into the crowd like a radge & missed the whole race, galloping through the streets like some crazy wolf, jumping over cars…
She was barking like a rabid loon & just being really properly mad. It took half an hour to get her back on her lead, it was proper nuts!
The funniest thing was that no one there even batted an eyelid… Had she done that in Newcastle someone would have called the cops & they’d probably have given her the Moatie treatment…
But in Southern Ireland people are really laid back & used to dogs.
Animals in general seem really highly valued as part of the culture, so the odd spot of doggie high spirits, right through the centre of town on a Saturday night, is really not a big deal there.
Unfortunately for Ronnie she had to go home to calm down, so she missed out on the pig racing that followed… which everything considered, was probably just as well.
So she totally missed the race, but became a local celebrity in the process & the next day was voted second in the Rosscarberry annual dog show, beaten only by an over humanised labrador that could basically do everthing except play the flippin’ piano.
It did so many intricate tricks, you had to wonder if it must have spent it’s whole life practicing them, instead of enjoying the kind if real, wild freedom that Ronnie has.
Ronnie doesn’t do tricks, she just lives her life, so second place was cool with her.
Here is the trophy she won, but more importantly while staying there, she won many, many friends among the little children & whole community of Rosscarberry.
During her two weeks in Ireland Ronnie got up to all sorts of stuff. She stayed in two different cottages, both near Rosscarberry.
In the first one there were baby cows at the bottom of the garden & surprisingly she got on quite well with them & didn’t try to mash them up.
She seems to be able to tell when animals are babies & it’s only really once they become adults that she has a beef (Ha! – see what they did there…? Skills..!!) with them.
There was also a straw ornamental duck in the first cottage that she hated & she would have spent hours barking at it if she was allowed. It’s funny how sometimes she just focuses on an inanimate object & rallies against it. She hates surfboards too.
As always, Ronnie spent a great deal of time hunting in the woods. She is a fine sight when she is fully alert, ears up, deep in hunting mode doing all her important things.
As she was staying near the seaside, she also spent a lot of time running on the beach as fast as she could, wearing herself out & skidaddling around up in the dunes.
She is always pleased to meet new dogs & her unconditional friendliness is one of her greatest attributes. Her she is with her new hippy chum who she really took to.
The beaches in this part of Ireland are sparsely populated & very windswept, but due to the effect of the Gulf Stream, they are amazingly warm, even first thing in the morning & last thing at night.
Here is Ronnie (you can just see her top left) whizzing around some kind of little spooky driftwood sculpture area she came upon on the beach one day…
She loves to hook up with any new beach chums she meets. Her best chums are always around the same size as her or bigger, as she likes to run, chase & playfight.
Fat or minature dogs aren’t much fun for her to play with, as she is the cardio queen & likes to run about & mix it up a bit. This Weimarana was great & they went banannas…
Ronnie loves to run & play & it takes other people who have large energetic dogs to really understand her groove.
When she is well matched & her chum’s owners get it, they can go on for hours rushing around, chasing & playfighting until they drop. Check these Kangaroos out…
Really they are really just in their doggie element, having boisterous, high octane, harmless, hilarious fun. It’s all best pals & afterwards they get to be properly worn out.
At night she would go to a little old bar called the Beehive. It was a gem & she loved it & had some nuts there…
There is a large tidal estuary in Rosscarberry, which creates endless seabird chasing opportunities when the tide is out & the mudflats exposed.
Ronnie always wanted to check to see if the tide was out & there were birds around, so she could chase them.
She had her little one day fling with the Weimarana, but she also had a full on, proper holiday romance with Ronin the husky. She thought he was a complete dish…
Religion is a big deal in Ireland & all over the place there are statues & effigies of Jesus & his mates.
Ronnie isn’t really bothered about religion, she just believes in nature & evolution, but they were still quite nice to see as she travelled the countryside.
While out one day Ronnie had an unfortunate encounter with a big fat hornet. She was doing her usual thing, trying to snap anything that flies by right out of the air & she caught it on the wing as it flew up a tree…
It gave her the mother of all stings & her lower lip swelled right up like a big football…
We had to pull the sting out & suck her lip to get all the poison out. She was a bit subdued for a couple of days, but then recovered like nothing had ever happened.
At the end of her two weeks Ronnie travelled north, to a place called Hollywood near Dublin.
They had a crazy little take on the American Hollywood’s sign up on the hill…
Here she arrived totally by chance, yet again, in the midst of a big celebration. All the villagers there were having an ‘old times’ weekend. Only vintage cars were allowed in the village & everyone was dressed up like it was yesteryear.
Old steam engines were going by & donkeys were pulling carts around. There was a load of old, farm type stuff went on & Ronnie thought it was mad & great fun.
There was even a goat, just standing on the wall, but luckily Ronnie was busy tucking into her bone on the ground & didn’t even see it – just as well..!
Ronnie was worn out & stayed for one more night then caught the ferry home. She loved Ireland & will certainly go back there some day soon.
Plenty of kisses needed for this next chapter as Ronnie has a few tricky problems… x