Top o’ the morning to you! I’m Snowy, a six-year-old White German Shepherd and I live in Dromore, Northern Ireland, with my human pawrents Melanie and Steve and our 12 rescue cats, wh0 I’m in charge of. We moved here from London (with six cats) and I’ve heard talk that Northern Ireland isn’t very dog friendly. But I’m keen to add a helping paw to the brilliant Dogs Lovers NI group on Facebook and make it my mission to prove that wrong.
Our latest rescue cat Ria follows me around the house looking for cuddles and I’m happy to show her the ropes. I also enjoy trying to eat the cats’ food – although those spoilsport humans have now put a stop to that by installing a child gate. They treat me with sausages and cheese instead, especially when I display my musical talents and howl along with Steve when he plays his mouth organ. I bark when someone comes to the door too – to let them know I’m home.
Anyway, never mind the cats indoors – what about the animals outdoors? The squirrels and rabbits in the garden taunt me as, although I chase them, I never seem to catch any. Since moving to rural Northern Ireland I have gathered a regular fan club of donkeys however and every time we see a field of cows we stop to say hello and they follow me all the way along the boundary. One day I even received a kiss from a bull!
My favourite places to take the pawrents for walks are right around where we live. The country lanes around Dromore are good for a snuffle and there are woods and parks aplenty on my doorstep. Nearby is Lagan Lodge, with lovely woods and some angling ponds where I enjoy many a happy stroll. Mel loves this walk too because the famous architect, Henry Hobart, who lived in Lagan Lodge, actually built our house!
Then there’s Hillsborough Forest Park which gives me great opportunities to pretend to chase the squirrels.
What I’m really looking forward to this summer, though, is visiting some of the beaches in Northern Ireland – I like to make a splash. I’ve heard that the beaches here are beautiful and that some are dog friendly too. So I’ll be checking them out soon – and the cafes and pubs along the way. Watch this space!
Phileas Phacts: Northern Ireland
- Dog Lovers NI, which campaigns for a more dog-friendly Northern Ireland, is at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dog-Lovers-NI
- For more information about Hillsborough Forest Park log on to: http://www.discovernorthernireland.com/Hillsborough-Forest-Hillsborough-P3400