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Posing by the brook.
Posing by the brook.

Father’s Day at BrookLodge with Daisy

ESB Apprentice Moneypoint

Early one morning I woofed instructions at my hoomans and we were packed and on our way. I was bringing my Daddy away for Father’s Day so I directed the car up the road.

When I told them to come off the motorway at Portlaoise, they knew we were going to one of our favourite places, BrookLodge.

I had an ulterior motive, too. I wanted to meet Lewis, the new resident dog. My good friend Oscar crossed rainbow bridge recently and while nobody could ever replace him, I really wanted to meet Lewis.

Posing by the brook.

We arrived just in time to get settled and go down for one of their lovely pizzas and as we ate in the bar, I was able to stay. I didn’t get to try the pizza but it smelled delicious.

The next morning we were having breakfast on the terrace when who came out for a visit only Lewis. He’s still learning the hotel trade so he’s being supervised on a lead but we had a lovely meet up and a chat. I still miss Oscar but we’re going to be good friends.

The rest of the day was a lazy one. We drove up to Kilmacanogue by the back roads and had a nice dogguccino before coming back to the hotel to relax before the hoomans went for dinner.

I’ve never been allowed into the Strawberry Tree restaurant but the hoomans always seem to love it and came back raving about it as usual. Some day I might be allowed in to see for myself what it’s like.

We were promised unsettled weather for the weekend but it turned out dry and sunny the following day so we decided a walk in Avondale would be just the ticket. It’s a lovely, wooded walk just outside Rathdrum and we hadn’t been there for a while. Unfortunately, when we arrived we discovered that it was closed for construction work but nearby Ballygannon Woods was recommended.

Ballygannon was lovely and we walked through some lovely trails. At one point, wooden steps led down to single file planking across the forest floor so I had to be carried. My kind of walk – I get all the sights and sounds and somebody else has to expend energy – perfection.

At the end of the walk, before turning back, we came across the Hidden Valley Holiday Park, which had its own Aqua Park with boats, canoes and an adventure park. It looked like great fun but I’m not a big fan of water so I didn’t jump in.

Back at the hotel, I had a final surprise for my hoomans. Especially for Father’s Day, I’d booked Afternoon Tea. We dogs aren’t allowed in the lounge while food is being served but we’re allowed in the conservatory so our table was set there.

Enjoying afternoon tea at BrookLodge.
Enjoying afternoon tea at BrookLodge.

I put on my new, AG Dog Fashion afternoon tea dress for the occasion and what an array of food came out. Beautiful, handmade sandwiches, scrummy cakes and scones with jam and cream. My mouth watered and I have to confess I got a few little crumbs from the table so I really enjoyed my afternoon.

After the tea, we could do nothing but vegetate for the rest of the afternoon until it was time to go down to the bar to meet my boyfriend Niall. I put on my best dress and you should have seen me walking down the corridor, with my tail wagging behind me.

I always get treats from my lovely Niall and he didn’t fail me this time. I hadn’t seen him for some time and we had a lovely visit and also with Seán at reception, where I got more treats.

The next day it was time to go home but before we left we got a call from Evan, the owner of BrookLodge. He wanted some pictures of me with Lewis for their social media. As an Instagram star, I was happy to oblige, especially as I’d get another chance to talk to Lewis.

Evan Doyle, owner of BrookLodge and Shelly Galvin with Lewis and Daisy in the Orchard at BrookLodge.
Evan Doyle, owner of BrookLodge and Shelly Galvin with Lewis and Daisy in the Orchard at BrookLodge.

We had another nice chat as the pictures were taken and there was another surprise – we moved over to the farm yard to meet George, the other hotel dog who looks more like Oscar every day. It was a lovely way to finish our trip to BrookLodge.

On the way back, we rounded out the weekend in fine style with a meal at The Buttery in Limerick where I always feel at home.

Happy Father’s Day, hooman Dad.

About John Galvin

Motoring editor - The Clare Champion Former Chairman and voting member of Irish Motoring Writers' Association

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