Monday, 22 June 2015

This has been a day (and a half) ....

At least, it feels like a day and a half!  Managed to cram in a lot of visits ... hospitals and care home ... and the joy of the residential facility is that the location is Portstewart!
So, after lunch the dog and I set off.  I'd been told he didn't travel well in cars ... I'm not sure what that means as Dougal didn't stir from Belfast to Portstewart Strand!
There he had an absolute ball!
Let me bore you with pictures!
 We started with the lead ...
 And then I took courage and let him run free ... and he never travelled more than a hundred yards from my side!

 Sitting in the water and letting the spray blow over his face seemed to be the favourite moment.

 As soon as he was called ... Dougal came running.  That was a huge relief.  At one point he got to play with a long haired retriever ... what energy!

So ... the visit was done and the dog was exercised ... again ... he didn't move on the return journey ... I'd say he loves to travel by car!
A happy dog and now rather exhausted!  I suspect we'll give the bedtime walk a miss this evening.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Busy days ...

It is a good thing that the dog has his own chair ... from it he can jump up and see who or what is around the house ... and then he can curl up and sleep.
I do sometimes wonder about how he sleeps ... hanging over the edge of the chair ... if humans did that we'd have a rush of blood to the head ...
Over the last 26 hours the Fire Service at Cadogan have been doing a marathon treadmill challenge ... they were raising money for a charity that provides self-catering respite for folk who have been diagnosed with cancer.
 Since the Fire Station is in our parish it seemed a good idea to go along to support them ... so the dog came too!

 Until just the last few minutes they had dry weather ... though today was a bit warm.
Dougal didn't seem to mind about weather or a No Waiting sign!

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Fourteen days!

Dougal history continues ... his new best toy is a squeaky duck ... a Mallard if you wish to be precise.
 Some games with this after his evening meal and he's now exhausted!
Day off Thursday gave us the chance to attend a fund raising Strawberry Tea ... well ... more like strawberry breakfast ... but it was delicious ... strawberry everything and two more dogs for Dougal's entertainment!
 The main attraction as far as Dougal was concerned were Tess and Stanley ... the adults had a different focus!
 Treats were popular with all the hounds.
 Of course there was a photo session ... and the poser posed!
 On the way home we did a car wash ... a strange experience with which the dog coped very well.

I do still think that he is a very handsome dog and full of fun and energy!

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Exciting Times ...

We're well into the second week and life has been busy for the pup!
First, he had a couple of nights in the kennels ... thoroughly enjoyed his time there and then welcomed me with enthusiasm!
Then, he had fun in three different parks ...
 Strangford Park is the home base ... he's there most days ... and on 12th June there was a bit of off-lead fun!  Every time he was called, Dougal returned to me ... so that anxiety is over.
He has adopted a few of the turtles ... no harm comes to them ... they just turn up in unexpected places!
Every day (the next two pictures are from 13th June) Dougal spends a bit of time in "his" chair!
 From that vantage point he can watch me work at the computer ... or doze ... he does snore quite loudly!
Monday morning we had an early walk ... dawn was breaking with a very pink sky ... it is possible to see the dog in the bottom right corner of the photograph ... the white tip on Dougal's tail is the giveaway.
 Walks are full of new and exciting things for him to investigate.
Malone Presbyterian Church held his attention for a while and I managed to get the phone out to take a picture or two!
Tonight I noticed something new ... Dougal had managed to get the paw print fleece in the manner of a "comforter" which he seemed to hug as he slept - snored!
 It may well have been accidental ... but it did look rather cute.
Life isn't only about dogs and roses ... but it has been an enjoyable ten days ... he is well settled, contented and follows me around or sits on my feet ...
So far he has met the window cleaner and the gardener and a good number of parishioners!  It was Parish Lunch on Sunday and he was a popular visitor, posing for photographs and making a good impression!  Long may that continue.
He going to a Strawberry Tea on Thursday where he meet two other dogs ... they will have a wonderful time ... though I suspect a bath may be required when we return ... the meadow can be a tad muddy!  Life is never dull for the Rectory Dog ... and there might just be a walk before bedtime this evening.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Seventh Day

Here he is ... at the beginning of his seventh day as the Rector's Dog ... and a contented wee mutt he is.
Give him food,

let him doze and then organize a few long walks in the parks
and he's as happy as Larry!

And that made me Google the origin of the phrase and this is what the "Phrase Finder" posts:

Larry - certainly the best known character in the world of similes. The expression he instigated is most likely to be of Australian or New Zealand origin. The earliest printed reference currently known is from the New Zealand writer G. L. Meredith, dating from around 1875:
"We would be as happy as Larry if it were not for the rats".
Almost all the other early citations are from Australia or New Zealand; for example, this from Tom Collins (the pen name of the popular Australian writer Joseph Furphy), in Barrier Truth, 1903:
"Now that the adventure was drawing to an end, I found a peace of mind that all the old fogies on the river couldn't disturb. I was as happy as Larry."
larry foleyBut who was Larry? There are two commonly espoused contenders. One is the Australian boxer Larry Foley (1847 - 1917). Foley was a successful pugilist who never lost a fight. He retired at 32 and collected a purse of £1,000 for his final fight. So, we can expect that he was known to be happy with his lot in the 1870s - just when the phrase is first cited.
The alternative explanation is that it relates to the Cornish and later Australian/New Zealand slang term 'larrikin', meaning a rough type or hooligan, that is, one predisposed to larking about. 'Larrikin' would have been a term that Meredith would have known - the earliest printed reference is also from New Zealand and around the time of the first citation, in H. W. Harper's Letters from New Zealand, 1868:
"We are beset with larrikins, who lurk about in the darkness and deliver every sort of attack on the walls and roof with stones and sticks."
Meanwhile ... I know you're waiting to see the picture of the rose today ...
Sunshine in Belfast ... beautiful day ...

Wednesday, 10 June 2015


The rose continues to entertain me for a few seconds each morning!  This shot is later in the day and the light isn't quite as soft as yesterday's very early picture.
Dougal had his first overnight at Ballygrainey and loved it ... he's now all set up for his summer holidays!  On the way back we stopped off at Malone Park for a bit of a run
 ... he does like to wriggle on the grass ... a most amusing habit!
Glorious sunshine certainly made this walk a pleasure ... though, when he caught sight of a squirrel ... it was all I could do to restrain him.

Monday, 8 June 2015

If you wait long enough ...

... the buds will open!
 The pot at the door will produce even more flowers and ...
 the hanging basket will begin to show colour.
 Meanwhile "Neighbourhood Watch" is on duty at the half landing ...
... and looking rather focused.
So far the collection of soft toy turtles has been ignored ... let's hope it stays that way!