dogs in dublin

Issue 4 July 2021

PIC Simone Dalmeri
Image by Simone Dalmeri

the lively eMagazine shimmering substance with  sun


'...allow me to point you to the new site, dogsindublin.ie.'

'Highly recommended if  you're a dog lover...'

Ian O'Doherty, Journalist
PIC alchetron.com
Image by Florian Klauer
Ian O'Doherty, Irish Daily Star
Thursday 24 June, 2021
White Fabric

full edition of emag page

in laptop format only

contents of  emag page
full edition


  1. birthstone & star sign

  2. lead story - old dog new tricks by Thomas Cantwell

  3. funny thing...

  4. celebrity & dog - Prince Harry by the Editor

  5. breed this month - Bichon Frise

  6. garden - sensory garden with wheatgrass

  7. straight from the horse's mouth - feedback from our vets on 'It's a vet's life'  (June spread)

  8. the vet says...know your worms - roundworms, focus on toxocara canis

  9. tap into the wonder in your dog by Steffi Baker

  10. poems & things

  11. living wild - a sly old fox am I

  12. dog french

  13. down under - with Agnes and Claire

  14. dog summer fashion

  15. eating out by Diana Darcy

  16. training - teach your dog to lie down

  17. it's my party  - with Ronan the  labrador retriever

  18. july gadget - cooling bed

  19. monthly weather forecast courtesy of Met Eireann

  20. Acknowledgements

©All rights reserved by dogs in dublin.  It is permissible to refer to material published in both the laptop and phone versions of the eMagazine once proper accreditation is given to both dogs in dublin and also to the author if a by-line is included.  However, reproduction in part or whole is forbidden without our consent.


DISCLAIMER: dogs in dublin  does not assume or warrant any legal liability for the accuracy, legality or reliability of any of the material published in either the laptop or phone versions.  That material is largely for entertainment. Anyone using any of the information published do so at their own risk be it veterinary, commercial, legal or otherwise and by so-doing agree to indemnify dogs in dublin from all liability, costs (including legal), loss, injury, damages which might arise from such use. The views and opinions of contributors to dogs in dublin  belong to them alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the dogs in dublin editorial staff.

July's birthstone, the ruby, is considered to be the king of the gems, known for its vibrant red colour.


Believed that a ruby will protect its wearer from evil as well as bestowing good fortune, so it's a great choice to give a loved one.

Rubies are one of the hardest natural gemstones around and their overall colour can sometimes give a clue as to where they originated. Burmese stones are often tinged with purple, while Thai types have a brown tone.

H. Samuel

PIC Pixabay
  • Cancer dates: June 21 – July 22

  • Cancer zodiac symbol: The Crab - because they are secretive and guarded. A hard shell protects the soft flesh beneath (their extreme emotional sensitivity).

  • Cancer element: Water

Cancerians are sexy, intuitive, funny, moody, secretive and knowing. They understand other people very well, but often remain an enigma themselves.




PIC Jason D
Image by Markus Spiske

 old dog new tricks!

by Thomas Cantwell, Journalist
Black Dog

Good news for our senior canine friends and we mere humans too. That old cliché - You can’t teach an old dog new tricks! – may not be so true after all.  This is backed up by a recent scientific breakthrough and in Issue 31 of the British magazine Dog, Lisa Hannaby looks at the science which has turned this phrase upside down.

It is a process called Neurogenesis, a facility by which neurons are formed in the brain. To understand the nuts and bolts of this a science degree would come in handy. But in a nutshell neurons (or nerve cells) are the basic units of the brain and nervous system which among other things allow us receive sensory input from the outside world and enable us to send motor commands to our muscles. Neurogenesis was thought only to occur in babies or puppies but scientists now say it continues throughout adult life – which is also good news for canines and ourselves.

The previous wisdom was that as we aged, we lost neurons and it was assumed they could not be replaced.  So, we were led to believe, for example, it was easier to learn a new language at a younger age but as we got older that ability simply faded away. Not true.  Those neurons are born again – so to speak – and there is nothing to stop us learning that language except laziness and inertia.

PIC Magdalena Smolnicka

...always good to know for much later down the road...


Even without the science on her side American dog guru, pet blogger and novelist Jean Marie Bauhaus believes you can teach an old dog new tricks.  On the internet she points to a study conducted by the University of Vienna’s Clever Dog Lab to determine how puppies and senior dogs differed in a test about how they distinguished between different objects. Trying to get it right the older dogs aged around ten took twice the number of repetitions and corrections than pups six months to a year old. However, the older pooches were able to show the young pups a thing or two by outperforming them in logic and reasoning tasks. This showed that the senior dogs refused to unlearn what they already know. Also, it is no surprise that the breeds that are easier to train while young remain easier to train as they age and top of that list would include Labradors, German shepherds and corgis.

However, to plug into the benefits of this new kid on the block Neurogenesis for our canine pals does not come easy and requires a bit of work and focus. Lisa Hannaby explains that regular exercise is vital but too much causes an overload that actually damages the dog’s cognitive function. Balance is the key. New challenges also help keep your pooch’s vital neurons buzzing. Lisa says “it may be puzzle games, learning new tricks, navigating a new trail or hunting a new treasure (food or toy)”.

PIC Jim Summerson
Image by Jim Summerson

Diet also plays a part and Omega-3’s fatty acids – found in sardines, mackerel and salmon - are understood to prevent neurons from disintegrating. She also has a list of risks which can indirectly impede a dog’s cognitive ability such as overuse of antibiotics and flea/worm treatments, toxic cleaning products and pesticides.  Dogs should avoid stress and air pollution can be a problem, The advice is to walk the dog in green spaces where possible – easier said than done.

But why put a senior dog through all the hassle of learning anew in the first place? Jean Marie gives a few possibilities:

  • You may have to house train a former outside dog who must fit into your home

  • Prepare for a new experience such as travel

  • To introduce new activities to promote exercise and healthy weight

  • To help prevent boredom and cognitive decline

Anyway, the good news is that our senior canines need not be consigned to the human equivalent of cardigan and slippers. There’s life in the old dogs yet – and we older humans, for that matter.

PIC Background Markus Spiske

Image by Casey DeViese
Image by Joseph Gonzalez

funny thing...

PIC Joseph Gonzalez
...I'm in seriously drooling territory here...

I let my Labrador come outside with me when I was taking the bins out one morning. I let him go for a wander, thinking he was just going to pee on the telegraph pole at the end of our driveway, like he always does.

Instead, he saw his opportunity and seized it. He kept walking... past the telegraph pole, past the border of our property, up the neighbours' driveway, through their dog flap in the side door... right up to the table where my neighbour was eating his breakfast.

And ate the bacon off his plate.

Went into a strange person's house... and ate their bacon.

Amelia Ridley


TEXT adapted from quotesgram.com 
PIC Background Casey De Viese
Harry Boy with pup.jpg

...so much courage to be true to yourself...


...sound soldier

...comfort constant

by the Editor
FACTS thefamouspeople.com
Young Harry beside his mother
PIC 'Hello' magazine


Amidst a turbulent young life, Prince Harry has always loved dogs

Born on 15 September 1984 the second son of Princess Diana and Prince Charles.  A privileged childhood?   He has been scrutinised by the media since his first day at school in September 1987.  Grew up spending the weekends in Highgrove, Gloucestershire and the rest in Kensington Palace with his family.  Diana described him as ‘very artistic and sporty’.


The divorce of his parents in 1996 was sharply and brutally followed by the death of his beloved mother in Paris on 31 August 1997.  He was 12.  After, he returned to complete his early education at Ludgrove and later Eton where he graduated with two A-levels in 2003.


‘Sporty’ he is.  Rugby Union and Polo are the apples of his eye.  After Eton he worked on a cattle station in Australia and then in an orphanage in Lesotho.  Diana strove to give her children ‘as normal a life as possible’.  Always seeking out that ‘normal’ he took part in a Polo Test match between Young England and Young Australia.

PIC Background Getty Images
Hello again.jpg
PIC 'Hello' Magazine

Harry went to the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst on 08 May 2005. Having completed  officer’s training he was commissioned in the Blues and Royals as a Cornet (second lieutenant).  Again, he found himself needing ‘normal’ things so it was declared that he would be deployed in Iraq in 2007.  Suffered once again the 'straight jacket' of being a Royal when it was decided not to proceed due to the probability of him becoming an 'obvious target' and the consequent dangers this could present to the soldiers around him.


Dogged Harry was, however, the first British Royal family member to be deployed in a war zone when he spent 77 days secretly as a Forward Air Controller in Afghanistan in 2007-2008.  Devastated by being called back when the ‘top secret’ hit the pages of an Australian magazine.


Now a lieutenant, on 14 April, 2011 he earned his Apache Flying Badge. Promoted to Captain on 16 April that year.  Sent with the Army Air Corps on a tour of duty as a co-pilot and gunner for an Apache helicopter at the Camp Bastion in southern Afghanistan on 07 September 2012.  A life threat from the Taliban during his 20-week deployment. 08 July 2013 the ever successful Prince Harry qualified as an Apache aircraft commander.


‘Invictus Games’ was launched by Harry on 06 March 2014. The participants of the multi-sport event include injured, wounded and sick army personnel as well as associated veterans. In June 2015 he ended his official duties with the British army.

Hello Harry.jpg
PIC 'Hello' Magazine

Harry’s young life has profoundly frustrated him.  The 'vulnerability' of being a Royal put 'paid' to his exploits serving in the army.  Forces outside of his control mitigates against what this highly successful and capable young man passionately wants to do.  Courage has always driven the impressive Prince, eventually taking him to California where he now lives a ‘normal’ life with his wife, two children and of course his 'comfort constant', dogs.

Bichon Frise 2.jpg


 Facts: Bichon Frise

  • Small dog, roughly 5-10kg. Normally all white with a black nose and dark round eyes.

  • Playful, feisty, affectionate and happy.

  • Very social and loves to go everywhere with owner.

  • Generally has a life span of 12-15 years, although many can live 15+ years.

  • Perfect companion for owner with allergies. Has a thick double layer coat which doesn’t shed, which means there is no unwanted dog hair around the house.

  • Needs regular grooming to keep coat in good condition.

  • Bichon Frise is French for curly lapdog. ‘Frise’ is French for curly and ‘Bichon’ is a type of lapdog.

  • 14th century Spanish sailors loved the breed so much, finding them great companions. They used the Bichon to barter so the breed spread around the world.

  • Often seen as performance dogs in the 19th Century due to their fun personality and friendly nature.

  • Not particularly fond of water but have an affinity like most dogs so enjoy retrieving and getting their feet wet whenever they can.  

  • As a rule if a Bichon has been well socialised, won’t take off after anything that moves or that takes their interest.

TEXT  Petsittersireland.com ideas of  Kate McQuillan
PIC Wannes de Mol
PIC Gabriel Crismariu
TEXT Ideas of Pets4homes.co.uk

One of the most popular breeds in the world they are adorable little dogs with wonderful, affectionate and loveable personalities. Known to be good around children, the Bichon is thought to have originated in the Mediterranean region of Europe and is often referred to as the "Tenerife Dog" thanks to sailors in the 14th century having found them on the island of Tenerife and over the following centuries, Bichons found their way into the hearts and homes of people the world over.

The Bichon Frise loves being the centre of attention and although small in stature this little dog is extremely confident and outgoing as well as being highly intelligent so entertaining to have around. Thriving on being with people and hating being left alone so vulnerable to separation anxiety. Bichon is high maintenance in the grooming department because the coat benefits from being professionally groomed every 4 to 6 weeks or so which can add to the cost of upkeep considerably.

Bichon thrives in the show ring too thanks to adorable looks and kind, even-tempered loyal nature which altogether makes this little white dog the perfect crowd pleaser.


Height at the withers: Males 23 – 28 cm, Females 23 – 28 cm

Average weight: Males 3 - 5 kg, Females 3 - 5 kg

The Bichon Frise has a pure white, soft coat with corkscrew curls. Compact and nicely proportioned, the head is slightly rounded with a defined stop and hair accentuates the shape quite noticeably. Large, black, soft and shiny noses, eyes are dark and round with striking black rims surrounded by haloes. Always has a keen and alert expression in the eye.

Ears are well covered with long, flowing hair, set high, hanging close to a dog's head, carried forward when excited.

Strong jaw with a perfect scissor bite where upper teeth neatly overlap lower ones. Lips are totally black in colour and quite tight.

This proud dog holds a longish neck slightly arched. Shoulders are oblique with nice straight strong legs. Well-developed fore-chest with deep brisket and well sprung ribs. Well-muscled body with broad loins very slightly arched and nicely tucked up. Rear is broad with slightly rounded croup and well-rounded thighs and strong back legs. Feet are tight and well-rounded with black nails and pads. Bichon carries the tail raised up, curved over the back but never curled.

The Bichon Frise boasts a fine, soft and silky white coat made up of corkscrew curls measuring anything from 7 – 10 cm in length. Dogs can be left untrimmed or trimmed. Coat is completely white, but dogs can have apricot or cream markings right up to when they are around eighteen months old. Skin is dark and can have various coloured markings including blue, beige and black.

PIC  puppiesclub.com 

bichon-frise-facts 1.jpg


Renowned for being a happy, lively and fun-loving little dog. Very confident and outgoing character, always friendly and rarely show any sort of aggressive behaviour. A real clown, loving to "perform" and play so such fun to have around. Intelligent, quick to learn new things, always ready and willing to please owner so extremely easy to train to do all sorts of tricks.

Although of lively and energetic character, they are quite calm too unlike many other breeds of a similar size. Particularly good around children.  A great choice of dog for first-time owners with the time and the know-how to keep a Bichon's coat looking great and in good condition.

Although highly trainable, the Bichon can be a little difficult to housetrain so can take a bit longer than many other breeds. Best suited to households where one person stays at home when everyone else is out so that a Bichon never spends too much time alone to avoid separation anxiety.

Bichons generally get on with other dogs when well socialised from a young enough age. Will also live happily alongside the family cat. However, when it comes to smaller pets, it's best to keep an eye

PIC John Holden

Caring for a Bichon Frise

A Bichon Frise needs to be groomed on a regular basis to make sure the coat and skin are kept in top condition. Also need regular daily exercise to ensure the dog stays fit and healthy. On top of this, a Bichon needs to be fed good quality food that meets all nutritional requirements throughout their lives.

When it comes to exercise, give a Bichon at least 30 minutes a day outside to let off steam. The perfect choice for people who lead more sedentary indoor lives and who have the time to devote to their canine companions. Bichon although not a high energy dog, loves to play games whether indoors or outdoors. Thrives on being around people and wilts alone often suffering from separation anxiety when they are.

Image by Karen Cann

beware: pretty to   see

poison to eat

Image by Bahador

...a sensory garden 
for you and your dog...

PIC Bahador

Wheatgrass is super simple to grow and packed full of nutrients. It’s been shown to help with dog digestion and help boost energy levels. Lots of dogs can’t help but have a munch when they find it!

It can be grown in seed trays during the winter and then planted in the ground in the summer, and it loves a nice bright spot in the garden.

TEXT Ideas of Battersea.org.uk

Dogs can’t see the same spectrum of colours like us, but they are able to see blues and yellows.

Pansies commonly come in these colours, are safe for dogs and grown all year round, so planting them can provide a bit of visual stimulation.

Remember, pansies are rather delicate, so be prepared for your dog to potentially destroy them!

Lots of dogs love to dig, so a sand pit can be a great solution and may discourage them from digging up your actual garden.

If you decide to make your own doggie sand pit there are a few things to remember: Use soft, children’s play sand and avoid sharp builders’ sand, a weed supressing membrane will keep unwanted growth at bay and the pit will need proper drainage.

You will also want to bear in mind that your dog may use the sand pit as a toilet too, so make sure it is for your dog only and cleaned regularly.

Image by Markus Spiske
PIC Markus Spiske
PIC Background Karen Cann
Animal Kingdom
Image by Jan Melzer

straight from the  horse's mouth...

feedback from our vets...

PIC Jan Melzer

We want to improve.


Thanks to those of you

who took the time to tell us what you think. 

A few vets working in Ireland, with one or two in Dublin, along with another retired Irish vet now overseas, got back to us.  Cheers!  


Here is a smattering of their comments:

Image by Daniel Tausis

Let’s start with the bottom line

‘I am angry.  The tone of the eMagazine is not respectful enough to our profession.’

PIC Daniel Tausis

Helpful suggestions…

‘Insurance is a big deal now, both for us and our clients.  It only gets a mention in your eMagazine pull-out.’

The same vet goes on to say…

‘…applies also to pharmaceuticals.  Would like to see more about this next time.’

Sheep. PIC Kasper Lau TEXT modernfarmer.com
PIC Bill Oxford
Image by Bill Oxford

Another vet wrote…

‘I like the variety of small animals included in the supplement.  Even in a small animal practice, working mostly with dogs and cats, we have to be able to deal with a broad spectrum of visitors.’

My favourite is a one-worder from a retired vet now living abroad.


PIC Mark Konig
Image by Mark König
PIC Background Animal Kingdom
Roundworms 2.png

your worms...

TEXT Ideas of parasitologist
Andy Moorhead, DVM, MS, PhD, Dip, ACVM


Reference to Kim Rufus, RVN, 'Dog' issue 31
 PICS Shutterstock.com/MRAORAOR

the vet says...


Parasitologist, Andy Moorhead tells us that 'roundworm is the common name for the ascarid that affects dogs, Toxocara canis.' Veterinary nurse, Kim Rufus adds to the mix the fact that in a recent study it was discovered that circa 20% of dogs can be carrying roundworms at any one time.  She also aludes to Toxascaris Leonin as another commonly found species of roundworm.   We know roundworms to be rampant in pups but can be easily treated. As far as parasites are concerned, it seems to be all about tuning into the life cycle, to better treat and prevent their transmission.

Andy points out that the Adult T. canis worms are easily identified.  'They are 4 to 6 inches long, stout, and white. As a rule, T. canis is found primarily in puppies, although some studies have suggested that these worms may be present in up to 33% of adult dogs.'  He goes on to explain that the vulnerability of pups to infection is the consequence of 'migration pattern differences' in pups as opposed to adult dogs.'


Roundworm Life Cycle in Dogs

'Adult male and female worms mate in the dog’s intestine. The female worm will then produce literally thousands of eggs per day, which are shed in the faeces into the environment. When shed, these eggs are undeveloped and not immediately infective; depending on the temperature, they will become infective in 2 to 4 weeks, at which point they contain the infective third-stage larvae'.

The unfortunate who comes in contact with these eggs, whether canine or human, will host the hatching and 'release L3' into the intestine. In it's element here, the L3 will break through the intestinal wall and travel via the blood to the liver and then to the lungs.  In short, they power into the alveoli. 'When this occurs in large numbers in puppies, the resulting condition is verminous pneumonitis.' Now, for the science bit.  'After entering the alveolus proper, L3 can take 1 of 2 paths: tracheal or somatic' Andy explains.

'Tracheal migration: Larvae that ascend the trachea are swallowed and travel to the intestine, where they will mature to adults.

Somatic migration: Larvae that reenter the alveolar blood vessels travel to the muscles or organs, where they become encysted and their development is arrested. In humans, this migration pathway is also followed and results in the condition known as larva migrans.'

Kim Rufus also alludes to this fact that roundworms can impact on skeletal muscle as well as the intestinal wall 'where they can form cysts.'

From eggs to...
the parasite Toxocara canis
PIC Austin Arthur-Collins
Kim Rufus, RVN, in 'Dog'  issue 31  also points out that  roundworm eggs pose a 'zoonotic' risk.  This means that they can be transmitted to humans, especially children with possible resultant eyesight implications
PIC Joy Christian
Image by Austin Kirk

Roundworm Life Cycle in Pups

The roundworm life cycle is the main reason why pups are more at risk of infection than adult dogs. Again, the science bit. 

'Puppies can become infected by the transplacental or transmammary route. 

Transplacental route: ...after somatic migration, worms become encysted in tissues and their development is arrested. However, if a dog with encysted larvae becomes pregnant, these larvae become reactivated and travel via the umbilical vein to the in utero puppies’ liver and lungs. At the time of birth, when the puppies’ lungs inflate, the larvae then burst out and travel to the intestines via tracheal migration, where they mature in 3 weeks.

Transmammary route: Although the transplacental route is considered the primary route of roundworm transmission to puppies, encysted larvae can also infect puppies that drink the milk of their infected mother.'

Image by Matt Seymour
PIC Matt Seymour
...frankly my distinct preference is in the opposite direction


Cleaning up after your dog is a fool proof place to start.  Andy recommends deworming pups every 2 weeks up to 12 weeks of age to prevent maturation of larvae transmitted by the transplacental or transmammary route.  He claims that by preventing roundworm maturation, you prevent egg shedding and environmental contamination.

He affirms that the easiest way to prevent 'larva migrans' is also to deworm puppies before the worms become adults. 'If the worms do not make it to the adult stage, they cannot produce eggs, thereby reducing the risk for human infection.' he says.

Generally speaking the roundworm makes small fry of environmental changes and common disinfectants including bleach. 'What makes them even more persistent is their sticky outer coating, which makes them very difficult to remove from surfaces, including concrete. Eggs can survive for years, although larvae will be killed by extreme heat and prolonged exposure to sunlight.' Children's sandpits are a haven but generally speaking the resilience of eggs in the environment leads to injestion by humans, especially children.

Image by Raphael Schaller
Image by Matt Briney
...loving it Steffi...nice to be out with awake folk...

into the wonder in your dog

by Steffi Baker
PIC Matt Briney

As I walk with my curious Bichon Frise, I feel sad to see so many dog walkers wearing head phones.  I look at the solitary faces of the dogs.  I’m reminded of a film I once saw about gamblers that somehow I failed to quite shake off.  The desolate faces of those who lost still haunts me and of course everyone does, eventually.  Bella is seven.  She simply wouldn’t stand for it.


Why not tap into the wonder in your dog?  Wonder is to think or speculate curiously according to dictionary.com.  It hinges on inquisitiveness.  In brief, the desire to learn or know about anything.  This is what a dog does everyday.  It’s time to join their club.


Caroline Wilkinson writing in ‘dog’ edition 32 puts it rather well.  ‘To feel humbled and inspired by the world around us just adds an extra layer to the already incredible adventure of spending time with your dog.’  The life span of a dog is short.  This is the best reason to give them as much of yourself as you can every day.  So, please leave the headphones at home!


Caroline makes some suggestions for turning previously thought of as mundane things into fresh unique experiences.  She suggests starting the walk with some calm breaths.  She even goes so far as to give a step by step guide to this:

  1. Inhale through the nose for the count of four

  2. Hold for the count of seven

  3. Exhale through the mouth for the count of eight


Tune into your dog as you both head out.  Notice what he’s doing.  Turn his sniff time into your wide-awake time.  Feel fully everything around now.  Sense the bond between you, your dog and the place where you are.  This is perhaps a good time to follow Caroline’s step by step breathing technique too!


‘It’s not what you do but the way that you do it.’  How astute is this bandied wisdom!  Variety excites us all.  If you can, walk different routes.  If not, change the way you go so you and your dog can experience the opposite perspective.  Cross the road often.  Walk on the other side.  Take time to smell the roses. 


Caroline suggests that a ‘busy’ or ‘worried’ dog responds better in a quiet, calm place.  She advocates keeping your phone in your pocket.  I would go a step further and say, leave it at home with your headphones!

PIC Background Michael Dziedzic
PIC Background Raphael Schaller
Image by Edge2Edge Media
PIC Edge2Edge Media

poems & things...

My Puppy

It's funny my puppy knows just how I feel.

When I'm happy he's yappy and squirms like an eel.

When I'm grumpy he's slumpy and stays by my heel.

It's funny my puppy knows such a great deal.



Puppies are constantly  inventing new ways to be bad. 

It's facinating. 

 You come into a room they've been in  and see pieces of debris

and try to figure out what you had that was made from wicker or what had been stuffed with fluff.

Julie Klam

PIC Dalton Touchberry
Image by Deconovo
PIC Deconova
PIC Ricky Kharawala
Image by Sophia Kunkel
PIC Sophia Kunkel

Of all the things I miss from veterinary practice,

puppy breath is one of the fondest memories!


PIC Background Bruno Emmanuelle
The Stars

PIC Alexander Andrews

Image by Alexander Andrews

...a sly old fox am I

PIC Birger Strahl

Foxes facinate!

Humans and foxes go back a long way!

Claimed that archeologists found an ancient grave in Jordan containing the remains of a man and his pet fox! The grave was dated 4000 years before the first-known human and dog were buried together.  In Finnish mythology the fox is said to have created the northern lights with its tail! 


Foxes know how to pop up in stories and folklore too! Most of the time they are villains or thieves. One of the most famous stories is Fantastic Mr Fox by Roald Dahl.

Image by Birger Strahl
TEXT Ideas of 

Russet-red fur, white chest, pointed nose and ears topped by a bushy white-tipped tail called a brush constitute the fox. Often smaller than people imagine, they typically weigh 5–8 kg and stand around 40cm at the shoulder.

Foxes are widespread and quite common throughout the these islands, with a surprising number living in towns.

They are active at dusk and during the night, searching alone for food. However, they tend to live in family groups of one dog, one vixen and her cubs and a few female helpers from previous litters.

The family has several lairs and one or more breeding dens, or earths, within their territory. Females give birth to four to seven cubs between March and May.

You may be lucky enough to see a fox, but they are shy creatures. Instead, look for evidence of their presence, such as tracks and droppings.

Foxes are scavengers and eat almost anything they can find, including insects, earthworms, fruit, berries, birds, small mammals, carrion and scraps left by humans.

PIC Jeremy Hynes

 PIC Janis Wolf

Image by Jeremy Hynes

The fox is canine, so related to wolves and dogs. 

Foxes, while still social animals living in loose family groups are decidedly less so than most other canines. The troup usually consists of a breeding male, female and their young. Mating takes place in winter and this is when foxes are at their most vocal, barking and screeching loudly as they look to attract a mate and fend off rivals.

The vixon (female) gives birth to a litter of cubs in an underground den in Spring time. Normally, four or five cubs will be born, cared for by both the male and female.

By autumn, the cubs are fully self-sufficient. Some will leave to establish their own territories, while others may remain with the family group. Those that stay sometimes help their parents to raise the following year’s young.

Image by Jonatan Pie

PIC Jonatan Pie

Arctic foxes change colour from brown to white with the changing seasons so they always remain camouflaged whatever the weather!

PIC Background Federico Di Dio

Bridge Over a Lake
Image by Pedro Lastra

dog french...

le horizon
the horizon

Nous voyons un bateau à l'horizon

We see a boat on the horizon

PIC Pedro Lastra

une nouvelle vedette sur l'horizon

a new star on the political horizon

en plein-air


les grands espaces naturels

the great outdoors

...la vie que je mène me convient parfaitement
the life I lead suits me perfecly

coucher à la belle étoile

to sleep outdoors

Image by Jaccob McKay


Agnes July 2021.jpg
Agnes in Olinda, Victoria, Australia, at the Rhododendron Society Gardens PIC Martin Chatfield

egg flip!

by Agnes Chatfield

I have a story about a dog from my long lost youth spent in the town of Tubbercurry, Co Sligo.

My mother sent me on a message when I was nine or ten years old. She gave me sixpence and told me to go to Josie Coleman and get two eggs.

I did as she asked and as usual I ran the short distance to their shop, next to Burke’s garage. I got the eggs and on running into the street her old mongrel, Franco, was rushing past the door.

You guessed it, I came a cropper and fell over old Franco, so too the eggs.

I went home and mother said, ‘where’s the eggs?' 

I began making excuses:

-She never gave them to me!

'Where’s the money?'

-She took it!

To my memory my mother put on her coat and went to the shop and bought more. I cannot recall if she chided me.  Since I never ate eggs and neither did she,

maybe she felt more forgiving.

Agnes and Martin July 2021.jpg
Agnes with husband Martin
PIC Melbourne, September 2020
...not alone did you come back to us with a fab story this month Agnes but you brought along your daughter...story telling in the genes me thinks!
PIC Background Jaccob McKay

forever young

by Claire Chatfield

I recently visited my brother John at his home in Melbourne and was greeted by the sight of his old dog Ruby lying listlessly on the couch. Such a contrast to the young rescue dog I remember: a 28 kilo staffi cross, black, sleek fur with a touch of white on her breast. Large limbed, and full of life. 

One day I was at the house sorting my artwork that John was kindly storing for me. Ruby wanted a walk. As she was new and untrained it was not part of the deal. John would be home in a few hours to take her out. Ruby didn’t know this and persisted with her entreaties. After a while I gave in.

After a walk around the park I was feeling pleased with myself as we turned back into Crete Avenue where John and his wife Anna lived. Ruby had stayed on the lead and followed directions. I had done my good deed and could get on with sorting my art.

Meanwhile Ruby had spotted the neighbour’s cat dozing peacefully in the sun in their driveway. Before I had time to blink, she ripped her lead out of my hand and took off down the driveway after the cat. I looked on in horror, imagining Ruby tearing the cat to shreds as I stood there powerless to stop her. What would I tell the neighbour? What would I tell John and Anna?

The cat though had other plans. She must have been sleeping with one eye open or had at least one of her nine lives left. She proved too quick as she sprang nimbly onto the roof of the garage and out of Ruby’s reach. 

Her attack frustrated, I saw my chance to rush in and grab the lead and drag Ruby the last few metres into her home next door. As fast as I could I locked the gate, ran inside shutting Ruby outside in the yard and collapsed shaking into the nearest armchair. 

Forever young to me, Ruby passed on quietly this mid-winter. The longest night of the year.  A light went out here.

Ruby july 2021_edited.jpg
Ruby resting at home in Melbourne  PIC John Chatfield
Image by Cedric Wilder
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dog  summer fashion

dog fashion july 3.jpg

Pink Beige Lace Dog Shirt

Sizes range from xxs to xxl

Costs circa €27

Summer Velvety Dog Jumper

with option to add a bow

Costs circa €25

...a tinsy winsy bit more comfortable in this neck of the woods...

PICS woofapparel.com

If denim is your thing, do take a look at these cool summer jackets

Denim dog vest with cat decoration is very popular! So much so that Large is currently sold out.

Other sizes from xs upwards to be had.

Costs circa €23


Denim dog vest with butterflies,sizes

sm to xl,

costs circa €21

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PICS etsy.com
Image by Markus Winkler

eating out again

by Diana Darcy
Image by Honza Vojtek

As I tuck into my cheese board and sip a glass of red house wine, an animated man with large black glasses passes by with his dog.  The tall golden coloured dog pulls strong on the lead.  Next thing, head first under the table to connect with George.  No preamble.  That’s one of the things I just love about dogs. Then, she looks at me kindly.  I rub her classy slim head. The man calls out jocosely ‘met a friend’ and off they amble.


I say to the waiter as he takes away the colourful plates, ‘it’s so good to be back!’  He agrees.  In a jiffy he returns to play with George.  It’s Wednesday so closing time at 6 o’clock for outdoor dining.  I observe how different my chocolate Labrador is with men.  Full on.  Rough and tumble.  In his excitement George puts his paw into the water bowl and tips it over splashing the jeans of the waiter.  They continue to joust.


We walk home in late evening sunshine.  The trees stand leafy and proud.  I feel a rich contentment with George walking quietly beside me.  We understand each other perfectly.  Seamlessly, we allow each other to be.  Don’t think Tristan would have thought much of our evening out though.  Still, no hangovers.

Smile as I find myself remembering Siegfried’s remark to Tristan in ‘The Great Escape’ by James Herriot.  ‘You don’t miss a thing, do you?  Darts Team Dinner, Bellringers’ Outing, Pigeon Club Dance and now it’s the Licensed Victualler’s Ball.  If there’s a good booze-up going on anywhere you’ll find it.’

This feels like a social event too!  George and I are dining out this evening!  I’m sitting on a light wicker chair on  the pavement on a mini-high.  He’s stretched out under the table.  Both of us watching the world go by on this warm early June evening.  On impulse I get up to take a photo of him.  Feel negative vibes from the table behind.  The woman makes a big deal of finishing up and walking off as I snap.  Enough to say that the world of George and I is not for her.


A tall, young, positive waiter arrives in earnest with a large stainless steel bowl of water for George which I hadn’t ordered.  As George lazily lifts his bulk to drink, I’m impressed by the gesture.  Listening to the sound of his tongue lapping water I reflect on the secret of our successful three years together.  We have honoured the boundaries.  He is a dog.

PIC Honza Vojtek
PIC Background Markus Winkler
Image by Mohamed Radwan
PIC Mohamed Radwan
Slight change of plan this month.    Had intended to progress to the 'stay' from the 'sit'  as that's how I trained my dogs.    In fact it took quite a while to succeed with getting them to 'lie'down.

As most dogs lie down   on command  relatively easily, I'm going to focus on 'lie ' this month and proceed with  'stay' in August

teach your dog to lie down

TEXT Ideas of Battersea.org.uk
PIC Amber Turner

Start (1) 

With a scrumptuous treat in your hand, ask your dog to 'sit', preferably on something soft and inviting. Once in the 'sit', let him sniff the treat and slowly coax the nose down to between the front paws, always maintaining nose contact with the treat. Stands up? Begin again. Ask for the 'sit'. As soon as your dog lies down, praise him with 'good dog', and reward him with the treat.

You may find that your dog hovers like a helicopter, with the elbows off the floor for a while, before lying down. If he persists then stand him up and try again, this time rewarding him for almost lying down. Repeat until he fully chills into lying down.

Next (2)

Repeat the process until your dog is coaxed by the treat consistently to 'lie down'. Extend the playing field by going through the first step again, but this time with a treat in both hands. Bring your dog down with one hand, and reward her with the treat in your other hand.

PIC Jamie Street

Then (3)

With no treat, move your hand to the floor and say 'lie '. Your dog may just look down at your hand without lying down. If this happens, tuck a treat between your palm and your thumb and repeat the signal of moving your hand to the floor. As soon as your dog lies down, praise him and give the treat. Repeat this three times in succession and on the fourth repetition, use the same hand movement but with no treat. This will allow you to move on to giving the command without the expectation of food.

Now (4)

Your dog is comfortable with the hand signals, you can get her to lie down on voice cue alone. Say 'lie', wait three seconds, give the hand signal, and reward the dog for lying down. Repeat this a few times, increasing the seconds between voice cue and hand signal until your dog makes the connection between the two and responds to the voice cue alone.


PIC Picsea

Image by Dylan Brown

Finally (5)

Now your dog understands how to lie down on cue, continue the praise 'good dog' but start to phase out the treat reward. Why not give treats for faster downs, but you still give praise for slower decents. Once your dog is lying down on command you can give  the occasional treat, or if the environment is particularly distracting.  In short, when she deserves something scrumptuous.


...next month...at last introducing 'stay' or 'wait' (my preference)
Image by Adi Goldstein

it's my party...

Edited by Thomas Cantwell
Another Ronan with a good eye for the ball
Image by Chris Hardy
PIC Matthew Henry
PIC Chris Hardy


Could you wish our Labrador Retriever Ronan a Happy Birthday?


He was born three years ago on July 15 and came to us some weeks later.  He is such an easy-going dog, very affectionate and a very important member of our family.


When we first got him we were worried about how our cat Lucy would react. Sure, at the start there was a lot of hissing on her part. It seemed pretty nasty but even as a pup Ronan didn’t seem to take it too seriously and now the pair of them are the best of friends.  You should see them happily cuddle up in front of the fire at winter. 


He gets on so well with children too and my three-year-old niece Adelle is totally at ease with him.  She’s my older sister Patricia’s child.

 I have just finished my Leaving Cert which was a real tense time for me.  But walking with Ronan between exams helped to cool my nerves.

By the way – he is called Ronan after the rugby player Ronan O’Gara.  My dad Ray is from Cork and a big Munster rugby fan. Just like his namesake our dog has a great eye for the ball and if we take him into a park without a ball to chase after he is very disappointed.


Suzanne Nash (17),

Kimmage Road West

PIC Background Adi Goldstein

hot july gadget...


Image by Leo Rivas
  • Suitable for indoor or outdoor use

  • No electricity needed – just add water

  • Suitable for larger dogs

Heavy panting! 

How do you keep a dog who refuses to lie in the shade cool this July?  Usual caper.  Runs around! Plays! Pants! 

It doesn't take a lot for dogs to overheat. Far too interested in what everyone else is doing and what they can get up to next to look after themselves.

This cool bed is a simple dog gadget and a great way to cool down a dog resistent to lying in the shade.

PIC Leo Rivas
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...clever clogs comfort to pant for...

PIC and idea  caninecottages.co.uk

Just five minutes reclining on this cooling bed is enough to chill out. The natural properties of water absorb the heat from your dog and expel it into the air. Cost circa €70

PIC Background Jose Ignacio Pompe
Image by Jisun Han
...monthly forecast... looks like every other week fabulous...
Met Eireann
Fluffy Clouds

Week 1 (Monday 28 June to Sunday 04 July)

High pressure centred to the north of Ireland dominating during Week 1 with a stable set up bringing settled conditions. It will be less stable with lower surface pressure to the southeast of Ireland. There will be drier than normal conditions with temperatures above normal for the time of year countrywide. Conditions will be the least dry in the southeast of the country due to the influence of lower pressure to the southeast of Ireland.

Orange Clouds

Week 2 (Monday 05 July to Sunday 11 July)

During Week 2 there is a much weaker signal for high pressure to the north of Ireland and over the north of the country, with no signal for high or low pressure over most of Ireland.  This indicates a change to less settled conditions for Week 2, with some precipitation at times likely this week. However conditions will still likely continue to be drier than normal overall in the majority of the country, with average precipitation amounts in the far south of the country. Temperatures are signalled to continue warmer than normal, but with a weaker signal for warmer than average temperatures along the west coast.

Rain Cloud

Week 3 (Monday 12 July to Sunday 18 July)

There are some signs for settled and stable conditions to be returning nationwide during Week 3. There is a weak signal for high pressure to be centred to the northwest of Ireland and influence all of Ireland. Conditions will likely be drier than normal in all parts, with average temperatures near western coasts and temperatures slightly above average for the time of year elsewhere.

PIC Background Jusun Han

Week 4 (Monday 19 July to Sunday 25 July)

With much weaker signals confidence is low for Week 4, however there are indications for settled conditions to continue with a weak signal for lower than normal precipitation nationwide. There is a weak signal for high pressure over the northeast of Ireland and Britain with temperatures signalled to be slightly above average in many areas, but average temperatures are signalled in western and northern coastal areas.

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...The Old Bakery Store...
Harolds Cross Village,
thank you for displaying our cards and always looking for more...

...Expert Hardware...
simply have to mention you again
...just love the way you hand out our card with every dog purchase...thank you!

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PIC Pauline Loroy
PIC Background Wix Images