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Enjoying myself at the sunflower farm.
Enjoying myself at the sunflower farm.

Daisy’s 2022 Diary

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This might just have been my busiest year yet of travel, photoshoots and meet-ups with friends and while I’ve turned 13, I promise I am not a difficult teenager!

Well, that’s another year over and it was special for me. Yes, I’m officially a teenager, having celebrated my 13th birthday in May.

I don’t feel any different. I’m still busier than ever visiting my favourite places and modelling my lovely outfits as befits a superstar. I seem to have packed so much into this year that I get dizzy even thinking about it.

Valentine's shoot at the Michael Cusack Centre in Carron.
Valentine’s shoot at the Michael Cusack Centre in Carron.

My first major photo shoot was for Valentine’s Day. I’d just got a beautiful dress from my favourite couturiers, AG Dog Fashion and we wondered how best to show it off when we spied a stall in Galway, The Pine Rack, selling home made boxes; not much more than a week later, I had a lovely kissing booth with heart cutouts, painted and all.

We quickly decided on the Michael Cusack Centre in Carron, for the photos, with its lovely, old-fashioned cottage. John Kelly took the shots and they looked gorgeous.

Off, then, to one of my favourite places, the Twelve Hotel in Galway, to show off my dress again and I was also wearing a lovely DadsTies bow tie, but more on that later.

To celebrate St Patrick’s Day, I went to Bunratty Castle and Folk Park and met St Patrick himself. He drove the snakes out of Ireland but he likes dogs, so we had a lovely time together. I also met up with a leprechaun, but he had no pot of gold for me to top up my bone allowance.

April kicked off with a little photoshoot at Craggaunowen to warm up for Easter, where I met my uncle Anthony, the magician, who for once didn’t try to make me disappear.

Then it was back to Bunratty to meet all the lovely Easter characters, including the Easter Bunny and Elsa from Frozen. We went on from there to have our dinner at The Buttery in Limerick, where they make a big fuss of me. Don’t tell anyone but I got a tiny bit of cinnamon bun and it was delicious.

Getting ready to drive the bus in my lovely dress.
Getting ready to drive the bus in my lovely dress.

May, of course, marked my 13th birthday and I milked it for the whole month. On the day itself, we headed for Dublin, where a big surprise awaited – an afternoon tea on a vintage bus.

Vintage Tea Trips run the trips in Dublin and sometimes in Cork. We had the whole lower level all to ourselves and it was lovely to roll along, looking out the window and trying to snaffle some of the lovely cakes and sandwiches.

There was even a banner on the window wishing me a Happy Birthday and I felt so special, wearing my Afternoon Tea dress.

After a lovely night at my Dublin residence, Dylan Hotel, we met up with friends from the Facebook Westies of Northern Ireland group, Martina Graham and her three Westies, Ellie, Skye and Millie. We had a great visit and it was wonderful to meet up in the flesh.

Enjoying St Brigid's Garden.
Enjoying St Brigid’s Garden.

My birthday celebrations continued at The Twelve Hotel in Galway. The weather was beautiful so we brought that funny little car with no roof but I was really comfy in the back in my new dog bed that ties me safely into the seatbelt.

We did the Sky Road around Clifden, enjoying the wonderful scenery and while taking pictures overlooking the bay, I ran into one of my new doggy friends from The Twelve. I also paid a visit to Brigid’s Garden where I had a leisurely stroll around the wooded trails.

June saw me taking the hoomans to my other favourite place, BrookLodge in Co Wicklow, where I met my boyfriend Niall and had a proper meet up with Lewis, the newest member of the BrookLodge team.

He’s a beautiful Golden Retriever and he’s settling in well. We had a lovely chat by the apple orchard, with Evan, who owns the hotel.

The following month it was back to The Twelve for a few nights. When we arrived we had a movie night in the room, with pizza, chicken wings, cocktails and The Twelve’s own Underdog Lager. I’ve yet to sample it but himself is a big fan.

Taking advice from Manon, co-owner of The Twelve, we visited Aughnanure Castle, near Oughterard. It’s a really quiet and peaceful place and they have resident dogs and cats, so I had plenty of friends to talk to. The castle, once home to Grace O’Malley, Granuaile, is a really fascinating place to visit.

From there, we visited Glengowla Mines, just down the road, an old lead and silver mine, lovingly restored by Keith Geoghegan and his family.

We were able to climb down to the very bottom of the mineshaft. I pretended to be scared so I was carried all the way. I’m not lazy, I just like to conserve my energy.

Captain Daisy.
Captain Daisy.

We also did the Kilary Fjord cruise and spent a few hours cruising up and down, admiring the coastline on both sides, Galway and Mayo. I even got to steer the boat. Imagine that, 1,200 horsepower under my paw! It was great fun and I got a certificate to prove that I can now drive a boat.

Among the lavenders at Wexford Lavender Farm.
Among the lavenders at Wexford Lavender Farm.

Himself chose Brook Lodge to celebrate his birthday in August and I went along for the ride. On the way down, we visited Wexford Lavender Farm. The purple flowers were lovely and I could detect their scent in the wind.

I’ve always loved Avondale forest park. It’s a fabulous place to stroll around and there are lots of things to sniff. They’ve built a huge tree walk there now and I don’t like it. For a start, dogs aren’t allowed on it and secondly, I think it’s out of place and it spoils the place for me. It’s a real pity.

Sitting pretty at the sunflower farm.
Sitting pretty at the sunflower farm.

After the disappointment of Avondale, we cheered ourselves up with a visit to Swan’s Sunflower Farm on the way home.

The day was scorching and the sunlight reflecting off the yellow flowers nearly hurt my eyes. I really need a pair of fashionable shades for days like these.

We rushed home because we were due to meet more Facebook friends, Roy and Christine Henderson and their Westie Alfie. We met over a few drinks in Fanore and it started to rain gently just as we left for home.

In minutes, the rain became biblical and was joined by thunder and lightning, although, being deaf, thunder doesn’t bother me in the slightest.

Alfie and I enjoying the sunset in Fanore.
Alfie and I enjoying the sunset in Fanore.

Just before Kilshanny, we saw a little dog tearing up the road towards us, frightened out of his wits. We stopped the car and he hopped in without any hesitation. Suddenly we were sharing the footwell, which was fairly unexpected but we quickly introduced ourselves and got on fine.

Using Facebook, we found that Archie lived in Kilshanny so he came into work with us the following day and was collected by his owners. A fleeting friendship, ships that passed in the night, but I’m very glad we met.

My big trip of the year came in September when we hopped onto a ferry early one morning. I showed them my certificate but they wouldn’t let me drive, the big meanies.

We docked in Holyhead and after a long drive, we were in the Cotswolds, a place I haven’t been since Christmas 2019. It was lovely to revisit some familiar ground and sniff out some new places.

Meeting Paddington in Leicester Square.
Meeting Paddington in Leicester Square.

Well, that was nice enough but after a few days in The Cotswolds, we drove into London and I’ve never seen such a busy place.

I got to ride on the tube, trains, buses and even a London black cab. I was able to meet all the lovely people at The Bloomsbury Hotel and finally meet the hoomans’ friend, Camille.

We spent an afternoon walking by the Thames and everywhere I went, people wanted to take my photograph, particularly when I was wearing one of my lovely outfits.

I even got to see Buckingham Palace, although the queen wasn’t in residence. It was just a week before she sadly died.

I met Paddington again at his home in Paddington Station.
I met Paddington again at his home in Paddington Station.

I went to a pup party, where I met the model, David Gandy and I had a selfie taken with him in my lovely dress from AG Dog Fashions.

Hallowe’en was marked by visiting the Pumpkin Patch at Ballycross Apple Farm and I also walked for over two hours on lovely, deserted Ballinoulart Beach with Niall and Seán, who used to work at BrookLodge reception, and Magnus, his very handsome dog.

Later in the month, I visited both the scary and nice witches at Luggwoods, outside Dublin and met Martina and her three Westies at the Phoenix Park, where we had a nice walk.

Shelly and I with Martina and Ellie, Skye and Millie in The Phoenix Park.
Shelly and I with Martina and Ellie, Skye and Millie in The Phoenix Park.

The next day, the hoomans and I attended the Pet Friendly Dublin meetup in Grangegorman. All the doggies were dressed up in Howlowe’en costumes and I even won a rosette in the fancy dress competition. It was a lovely way to finish my trip to Dublin.

To end the Howlowe’en season, a quick trip to The Twelve allowed me to visit Brigid’s Garden, where I discovered that I’m going to feature on their new brochure. I took some spooky pictures in Barna Woods and sat in the hand of Macnas’ Con the Giant. I was a bit nervous in case he wouldn’t realise I was there and closed his fist on me.

During my photo shoot for the DadsTies Calendar.
During my photo shoot for the DadsTies Calendar.

I’m saving the best news ’til last. Earlier this year I was invited to appear in the DadsTies Calendar, to raise money for throat cancer. I travelled to Dublin for a special photo shoot.

My theme was travel, a subject that’s right up my alley. I posed with a suitcase filled to overflowing with all my outfits and I have to say, the final picture turned out brilliantly. I can’t wait to see the calendar.

In fact, as you read this, I’ll have been at the launch party for the DadsTies calendar. I hope they’ll serve Pawsecco.

Happy Woofmas… Luv Daisy

John Galvin
+ posts

Motoring editor - The Clare Champion

Former Chairman and voting member of Irish Motoring Writers' Association

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