I always like to take a little city trip coming up to Christmas to see the lights and soak up the atmosphere, so I hounded the hoomans to such an extent that they packed the car and we headed for Galway and a couple of nights in one of my favourite haunts, The Twelve Hotel.
We were late leaving Ennis so we just had time for a quick dogguccino on the way, at Gran Gran’s in Kilcolgan. A lovely place and well worth a stop.
The holiday starts at The Twelve
We had to tackle Christmas traffic through Galway city, but eventually we arrived at Barna and who was there to greet me only my favourite receptionist, Mónika. She made a great fuss of me as usual and when I went up to the room, there was a beautiful picture she drew of me on a Christmas Wreath. She really has talent.
It was a lazy evening then, with pizza in the room and a chillout, ready for the following day.
After breakfast, we drove into town, admiring the Galway Hookers, draped with Christmas lights on the Claddagh. It was bitterly cold, so our first call was to Mocha Beans for a swift dogguccino to set us up for the day.
We mooched around town, taking in the sights of the Christmas markets at Eyre Square and beside St Nicholas’ Cathedral and took a break for a quick drink at Sonny Molloy’s, near the Spanish Arch.
Our plan then was to go to O’Connell’s Bar to try Prátaí’s chips, which we’d heard good things about, but when we arrived, the chipshop was closed so we contented ourselves with a couple of their nice, hot punches. Of course, I only got to sniff at them but the aroma was lovely.
On the way back to the car, I was tickled white, red and rosé by the above sign outside Woodbury Wines so I insisted that the hoomans take a picture and then we stopped for another dogguccino at Hazel Mountain Chocolate. They make the most beautiful chocolates in The Burren and himself had one of the nicest hot chocolates I’ve ever seen. Not a sniff did I get of it because chocolate is bad for us dogs.
It was back to the bar at The Twelve and their Christmas special of Turkey and Ham Wellington. I wished with all my might that the table would topple and spill that lovely food on the floor for me to snaffle but despite all my efforts, the hoomans ate it all up and I only had my normal food as usual. It’s times like that when it’s a hard life being a dog.
The next day, we went off in the car to Clifden, where there’s usually a bit of life but we found it strangely quiet. We had our dogguccino at The Twelve Pins café, where they really welcome dogs and serve some beautiful cakes. It was a lovely way to finish our Clifden trip.
Back at The Twelve, we visited their Christmas market and warmed up with some mulled wine before heading back into the city.
We were determined to try O’Connell’s again and this time, both Prátaí and Dough Bros Pizza were open, so that was dinner sorted. The aromas were driving me mad under the table and I begged for scraps, but nothing doing.
Meeting A Lovely Boy
That night, the hoomans were having drinks in the hotel’s reception area while I chilled. A very nice boy came over to talk and I was so relaxed as he stroked me and chatted away with the hoomans and myself. I’m not usually great with children, due to something that happened when I was very small, but this little boy was so calm and kind I could have stayed there all night.
Little did we know but his mother took a picture and put it on her instagram. The following day, my friend Siobhán alerted us and I was able to get the hoomans to make contact and get his address.
I sent him off one of my special Christmas cards – they’re collectors’ items you know – and I hope it made his day. It made mine to meet him and I hope I’ll see him again at The Twelve or somewhere else. Happy Christmas. I’ve told Santa Paws what a lovely boy you are.
I finished the night posing by the Christmas tree in reception in my beautiful, new AG Dog Fashion Christmas coat. I’m telling you that coat is so beautiful I wouldn’t look out of place on a Paris catwalk… or should that be dogwalk?
A surprise trip to Dublin
After a restful night’s sleep, I thought we were going home, but the hoomans had a surprise for me as we headed for Dublin instead and straight to my home from home in the capital, Dylan Hotel.
We parked the car and walked into town, going straight to the Mansion House and the live crib. This year there were full sheets of perspex in front of the animals so it was difficult to talk to them but I had a quick chat with them all to make sure they were ready for Santa’s visit later this week. It’s Christmas for animals too, don’t forget.
A stroll around the city was followed by meeting my cousin Brian for dinner at Angelina’s by the canal. We were the only ones on the heated terrace so I got away with a few barks without disturbing anyone and the food was as lovely as ever.
After breakfast the following morning, we hopped into the car again and headed for the Phoenix Park and who was there to greet us only Martina Graham and her two Westies, Millie and Skye. We had a lovely dogguccino at the café and then a nice walk around the visitor centre. Martina is in the middle of cancer treatment so I have my paws crossed for her and saying my pawyers that she’ll be OK.
That night, it was The Old Spot for dinner, a lovely gastropub where dogs are very welcome. I met George, a lovely Cockapoo. Usually they’re mad yokes but George had impeccable manners and was very handsome. We could make our meetups a regular thing. Brian joined us again and the three of them all made the same choices, ham hock followed by roast chicken and sherry trifle for dessert. Judging by the oohs and aahs, the food went down well and a good time was had by all.
I only have one thing left to say and that is to have a very Happy Christmas. Look after your pets, dogs or cats or budgies or whatever – all pets deserve a nice, peaceful Christmas with a warm fire and plenty of treats and cuddles, but no chocolates – definitely no chocolates.
Luv Daisy and a Happy Christmas to one and all.
Motoring editor - The Clare Champion
Former Chairman and voting member of Irish Motoring Writers' Association