Usually it’s myself who uses my bone allowance to bring the pawrents away for a weekend but early last Thursday I was unceremoniously put into the car, along with lots of luggage and we headed off to an unknown destination.
Our first stop was at Kildare Village, where we met our friend Elaine, from Cork. While herself and Elaine went off shopping, himself and I sat down for a dogguccino and a virtual car launch. Initially, they wouldn’t let me into the centre at all but himself foxed them by carrying me in. There’s always a way around things.
After a while, it was back into the car and heading East. I had a good feeling and of course, I was right – BrookLodge – and my boyfriend Niall, not to mention George and Lewis.
We got settled in our usual room and before long, we were in the bar having a lovely dinner. Of course I just had my normal food but the aromas of fish and beef from the table were tantalising and kept my mouth watering.
We were all tired after our long day, so it was back to the room for a relax and a good sleep.
Friday dawned and I felt there was something special about the day. And then it hit me – it was my birthday! I was 14. Imagine that! I leapt out of bed, determined to make the most of the day and who did I meet at reception, only Lewis. We had a good old chat and he wished me a Happy Birthday – in fact everyone in the hotel seemed to know it was my day and were so nice to me.
After breakfast, we went for a drive and ended up in Wicklow town and strolled around. We came across Firehouse Bakery, a place that previously wasn’t dog friendly, but we inquired anyway and discovered that it now was. They were very welcoming so we had a lovely dogguccino. Maybe they changed their policy on account of my birthday? I’m honoured.
There was a further treat waiting for me back at the hotel, where afternoon tea was set out for us in the Waterside Lounge. Usually, dogs have to stay in the conservatory during the day, but as it was my special day and they’re so nice, they made an exception. I was beautifully turned out in my AG Dog Fashion dress and I felt a million dollars as I strutted across the lounge.
I didn’t manage to snaffle any sandwiches this time but we all had a nice, relaxing afternoon and at the end, I was presented with my own little cake, complete with candle. They really look after their doggy guests at BrookLodge.
I found out exactly how well when we returned to the room and discovered a beautiful present of from George and Lewis, my resident doggy friends. There was a cuddly toy, a frisbee and treats all in a beautiful basket. Thank you very much my friends! I also got some lovely cards from my great friends in Kilmacduagh, Lily, Josephine and Pat and from Martina in Dublin. I have some fantastic friends.
Later that evening I scurried down the stairs to meet my boyfriend Niall, who fed me treats all night. What a great finish to a lovely birthday.
I was rudely awakened from my peaceful sleep at 3am. I couldn’t believe it. The birds hadn’t even begun to chirp. Into the car again and we arrived in the village of Tinahely and only then did I realise it was the Darkness Into Light walk, which I do most years. I met Sadie and Vicky before the start. Sadie, a lovely Basset Hound cross was only three months old so I told her what I knew about the walk and how impawtant it is to help those who are struggling with life.
We set off down the road but as dawn began to break, we turned around and came home through the woods, which was a really magical way to finish. I was really walking fast and we kept up with the leaders for the entire time but I was never happier to see my bed again after returning to the hotel.
A quick snooze and we were ready for breakfast on the terrace before heading off towards Kilmacanogue, where herself did a bit of shopping before moving on to Delgany, where there’s another Firehouse Bakery branch. It turns out they’re dog friendly too, so it was dogguccino time again. They also do pizzas so it’s a place we’ll have to return to for dinner some day.
I was tired that evening, so I didn’t mind when the pawrents left me in the room to have dinner at The Strawberry Tree and I snoozed the evening away but insisted on going down to Niall later for more treats. It was still my Birthday weekend after all.
It was time to check out the following morning but after a little walk in Arklow, we returned to the hotel for the food market and all the wonderful aromas it entailed. My mouth was watering as we walked around so I persuaded the hoomans to have a last pizza before we headed for home. I even managed to wheedle a little scrap of pizza from their plates. I’ve learned a few things in my 14 years, including how to beg for food. It rarely fails!
Luv Daisy (14)
Motoring editor - The Clare Champion
Former Chairman and voting member of Irish Motoring Writers' Association