Things are Different – Goodways


Puppy Stan here. It feels like ages since I got my paws on the computery thing but thought I’d grab this chance when no one is looking.


What’s most different is that the house is all changed cos my Dada is here everyday now cos his job isn’t on with the virus thing. I don’t really understand what’s going on but all I know is he’s here and, you see, I’m his pet. He adores me and I adore him too.

He told me that he never had a dog when he was growing up and that I, yes, I am the first dog he’s ever really got to know and had a chance to be with and see that dogs can be great friends.

He spoils me rotten and Jean is always giving out when he gives me yummy bits to eat. She’s cut down on my food to compensate. I hate that word.

Anyway, there’s a whole new routine and I’m down at the sea every night with Dada and Big Bro. I just love being out in the dark with them cos I feel safe even if the sea is wilder than wild.

That ankle episode with Jean is still a mess cos I can’t seem to stop pulling on the lead and her ankle is STILL wibbly-wobbly with me yanking her all over the place.

But, you should see the way my Dada even let’s me out into the front garden and he doesn’t seem to mind if I walk on the flowers. I try not to cos I know from Jean that I shouldn’t but I kinda get carried away especially if he throws a ball for me.

It’s hard to explain but him and me have been through a lot together. I minded him when he got a new hip. Just sat with him really but he says he owes me one now after all my attention then. Sure, I was just as glad to have him there and he let me lie on Jean’s side of the bed when he was having rests. I don’t think she knew cos I did my best not to leave paw marks or hair or mucky tennis balls.

So, this virus thing has an upside for me anyway. I just hope Dada doesn’t get it or any of the others or anyone cos it sounds rotten. But, will he forget about me when he eventually gets back to work and will Jean keep compensating?


Puppy Stan xxx

All my Fault

It’s Puppy Stan here and I’m all upset. See, I took Jean for a walk last night, late, very late. It was lovely out and the moon was even asleep on its side.

We were nearly home and I gave a yank to go up on a load of wet grass and she tried to pull me back and next think she gave a yelp. I heard her ankle crackling and she kinda hobbled home and put me to bed.

This morning, I woke to talk about hospital and X-rays, whatever they are and my Dada gave me my brekkie and I watched him helping Jean out the front gate. She looked AWFUL and didn’t wave back to me like she usually does.

I waited and waited for ages and thought they might never come back but they did. She still looked awful but she waved in and I started to cry i was so glad to see her and to know that she was glad to see me.

It’s all about RICE now. I don’t understand but she says it could be a lot worse. Thing is she’s in bed which is strange cos we are usually out and about in the day.

I raced up the stairs and jumped onto her bed to say ‘sorry.’ She played with my ears but didn’t want me near the crackly ankle. It looks different to usual with a big bruise on it. At least she still has an ankle. I just didn’t know exactly what’s going on but I heard her say something about lig something. I just hope that’s a good thing. Dada said earlier that soccer players have this kinda problem all the time. He’s just phoned so I wonder if she’ll get him his tea – and mine.

I will never, ever yank on the lead again or try to run on wet grass. I’ll do anything to get things back to normal, anything.

I’m sorry for going on but I just can’t bear the muddle and the guilt. My tail isn’t working right either.

Lots of love,


Black Dog

Hi Puppy Stan here,


I’m in a bit of a muddle, which isn’t that unusual, but I can’t understand why I keep seeing little white dogs walking around on fancy leads. They’re all groomed to the nines and look as if they never saw a bit of muck and dirt in their lives. I never seem to see a little black dog like that, you know, wearing a coat thing, as if they were going to a fancy dress party or something.

I got my paws on ‘Doogle’ and put in ‘black dog.’ Do you know what came back at me. DEPRESSION. Now, it seems some very old man called Horace and another one called Samuel Johnson used the words Black Dog to describe depression and then this fella called Winston Churchill made it all famous. I’d like to meet this crew and tell them a thing or two. I’m jet black and proud of it. Jean says I have the loveliest coat, most melty eyes, sparkling white teeth and a heart of gold so what’s all that got to do with depression. I’m awful sorry for anyone who has depression and I have known a few cos people tell me things in top secret but I refuse to be seen as being some kind of black dog that walks into a person’s life and makes them all miserable. That’s not what me and my black dog friends are about and I think I need to tell everyone that so that they don’t feel they have to go off and get a snow white puppy that’ll never be able to have a proper doggy life cos they’ll look all raggedy and dirty. I mean, could you think of anything worse than living in a house of white carpets and having to walk on air to avoid putting paw marks all over the place.

People need to get a life and give dogs a life too. I saw a thing on telly saying Black Lives Matter. Well, they do and no one should ever be judged because of their colour.

Best thing we can all do is shine our golden hearts and wear them so they gleam like my sparkly teeth.

My advice if you’re feeling depressed is find a black dog and have a chat with it and let it love you. Or even find a white dog and ask it to be your friend. I have my eye on a scruffy white girl dog that walks around here and always wants to stop and play. She doesn’t have a silly coat and I get a bit upset when Jean says she’s like a sheep. I’m wondering now if she thinks that being like a sheep is a good thing cos she calls me ‘Pet Lamb’ when she’s really happy with me. See, I am a bit muddled up but I’m certainly not depressed and I hope you aren’t either.

Lots of sloppy licks,


All’s Well Again, I Hope…

Puppy Stan here while I can get my paws on the mouse. Last night was a nightmare. There were big bangs every few minutes and I thought I was finished. Just before they started Jean was watching Waterford playing a big hurling game against Cork on the telly. She was hiding behind a cushion and screaming and sighing. She said it was bad for her heart and that had me all worried. Next thing, I heard a big loud whistle and she went racing around the room like a maniac. Waterford won, Waterford won, Waterford won. She’s a bit mad, I think but I guess we all are.

Before I could say ‘Where’s my supper?’, she dashed out of the house on a what she called her walk against the elements. It was windy and half rainy but she wasn’t properly gone when the big bangs started. I was witless and kept pacing around the place looking for somewhere to hide. I ended up in my Dada’s arms. He held me really tight and I could feel his heart beating about a million times slower than mine. I can’t understand why he wasn’t in a tizz-wizz.

Jean flew in the door eventually all red in the face and breathless. Every time there was a big bang she looked at me with that look that tell’s me she is scared but is pretending not to be.

You should see her when we go passed gardens with boney things lying in them. She gets all worked up and starts talking to me about how she hates skeletons, whatever they are. She says they should be kept in wardrobes. Did you ever hear such rubbish?

It’s all quiet this morning and it’s bright.

Now she’s told me she’s going to pull an all nighter on Tuesday and will be up with me watching telly. Something about America. I hope she’s not spending a last night with me before she goes over there cos it looks an awful long way away. She points out to the end of the sea when we’re on our walks and says ‘That’s America over there.’

America is off out there way beyond.

I just have to calm down. I don’t think she’d ever be mad enough to try and swim that far. But, then, she did go out in the fireworks, as she calls them. I’d call them All Nighter Puppy Torturers.

Please tell her to stay here with me and that I’ll even put all the skeletons into wardrobes for her.

Sky’s blue so hope there’s a Puppy Stan walk on the horizon.

Love to all,

Puppy Stan xxx

Woof, Woof, Woof …

Hi Everyone,

People talk about ‘a dog with two tails,’ and today I kinda feel like I’m a ‘puppy with three tails’ cos it’s three years today that I left my Mama and Dada and all my brothers and sisters on the farm in Co. Wexford and came to live in Tramore.

The time has flown by ~ just like those birds that I’m always racing after on the beach. You never catch up with time or birds from what I can see.

Would you believe that Jean put up a thingy on Twitter about me today and it’s gone zooming around the world. Here’s what she said:

Sometimes love comes with black spaniel ears, soft brown eyes and a heart of gold.

and there was this photo of meesy:


Well I got Harry to help me to get a photo of Jean to give her a surprise today  and this is the one he chose out of the collection I showed him cos he agreed that she ‘s kinda multi-layered and always keeping her eyes on us.

‘We See Through You’

This is the photo that Harry chose of me and didn’t know what Jean was thinking of with the Twittery one ~ even looking at that word has me thinking about those birds that tease me all the time:

Looking out to Sea

Now, I just have to wish the Stan I was called after bestest luck in the Australian Open last 16 tomorrow. Here’s hoping he can win the whole tournament just like he did three years ago.

Stan Wawrinka

I’ve ‘doogled’ Stan W and I think Jean will be a bit surprised to hear that he’s a Samuel Beckett guy too cos he has this tattoo on his arm:

Ever tried. Ever failed. No Matter. Try Again. Fail Again. Fail Better (Samuel Beckett)

(I wonder if I could get a tattoo just like this one cos it just might help me to grow wings or maybe the three tails will help me to take flight after those birds …..)

Love ya to bits, Jeanio,

Your Puppy,


P.S. Sorry about ripping your furry boot to bits this morning. It was all the excitement of it being today and me and Harry were having a game of ‘catch the boot’ while we were planning this post.

P.P.S. The pieces are under the sofa if that’s any good.


Puppying Up

It’s three years today since Jean’s beloved King Charles, Sophie, died and I suddenly realised that I have an awful lot to thank her for. She was with Jean for nearly fourteen years and was her constant companion and bestest doggy friend. See, if Sophie hadn’t found her way into Jean’s heart she would never have wanted to get another dog ~and that dog happened to be me!

I’ve heard from Harry’s dog how Sophie and Jean were a strong female team in a house full of males and they understood each other inside out. Even I can see the special bond that they had from this photograph:

Me and Soph
Jean and Sophie

I’m a three year old puppy now and it all hit me today that Sophie would want me to be as kind as I possibly could be to Jean. I wonder am I growing up or what?

Anyway, I’ve tried my puppy-best to be as loving as I possibly can be today. (I suppose I should try and be like that everyday but that’s another matter.)

We went to the beach this morning and I tried to show her every ounce of beauty, even in blackness.

The Beauty of Blackness

Talking of colours, you won’t believe this but the other day when I thought Jean was going off without me she suddenly said: Do you want to come with me. I’m going in search of a rainbow.’ I hadn’t a clue what a rainbow was but I decided to take my chances and go with her. Here’s what we saw and it’s one of those moments that I think may have brought us even more together than ever. I hope she doesn’t mind me showing it to you but really and truly it was something to behold:

Our Rainbow

There’s pots of gold at the end of rainbows in Ireland, in case you didn’t know. (I didn’t know ’til Jean told me).  I think we’re probably talking pots of gold at both ends and I know now, for sure, that the pot of gold at the end we saw was Sophie smiling at us and passing on some of her wisdom to me.

Just want to let you know Sophie that I’m trying as hard as I can to be how you’d want me to be. And thanks for keeping that little doggy door open for me in Jean’s heart.


Puppy Stan xxx







A Tale of Two Waterfordian Sunsets

Today’s sunset was a blaze of colour. I was out on the Coastal Path in Dunmore East and could hardly tear myself away.

Dunmore East, Co. Waterford.

Yesterday’s was a much more subdued affair which I witnessed out on The Copper Coast which is further on down the coast.

Bonmahon, Co. Waterford

What brought special magic to this sunset was that I had brought my own blackness to take over when daylight succumbed.

Puppy Stan at the Ready

The softness of his coat and the starry glint in his brown eyes rendered the deep darkness warm, companionable and ours.

Horizons, History, Bells and Years

It all started as a walk on the beach at sunset with Puppy Stan. The horizon was pencilled out and had me looking foward:


Puppy Stan was in pensive mood and was basking in the here and now:

Puppy Stan

We couldn’t resist driving out along the Copper Coast just to see how it looked in the gloaming.

Driving along, I was very conscious of the word ‘year’ and how the Irish language seems to capture ‘last year’ and ‘next year’ so much more deeply than English does.

‘Last year’ is ‘An bhliain seo caite,’ literally,’the/this year spent/used up,’ and ‘Next year’ is ‘An bhliain seo chugainn,’ literally, ‘the/this year toward us.’ I love the way the Irish is so much more dynamic and, indeed questioning, than English.

Pondering on all this, I nearly missed the fact that the door of the Catholic Churchv in Bonmahon was ajar. I couldn’t resist stopping and seizing the opportunity to go in and see how it was looking.

Bonmahon Church, Co. Waterford

The building that is now the church has served a host of different functions as a little notice on the gate post outlines.

It was originally built as a Temperance Hall as drunkenness had been a major problem for the mining company that was operating in the 1800s. A locally based temperance movement led by priests managed to wipe out drinking in 1839 through exhortation by the usecof “Temperance Police.” From 1840, the miners could come tobthe Hall, join the Temperance Band and drink non-intoxicating beverages.

The building was used as a famine-relief centre in 1846-7 and then became a fever hospital before being converted into a church.

The church was empty when I was there and I could feel its past enveloping me. My instinct was to light candles in memory of those who had spent time there in so many different capacities:

Interior of Bonmahon Church

Another part of me longed to ring the big bell outside the church to summon all the members of the local community for a celebration of the very last Friday of 2016.

Let the Bell Ring!

But I didn’t have the guts. Maybe when I am older and grayer and decked out in purple, I will!

For now, it’s time for bed as The Wishing Stones  Ritual for New Year’s Eve is almost upon us.













Things felt different today and I’m not sure why. Everyone is saying things like: Are you organised?’ and Have a good one. 

And then Jean started racing about the place putting shiny stuff around photos that are hanging on the wall and she even put bits of twigs with prickly leaves and red berries in the weirdest places, like hanging off the thingy that people bang the front door with.

I thought we’d     n   e     v    e     r       get to the beach and Jean was all teary listening to little kids on the radio talking to some guy that kept saying  Ho Ho Ho I thought we’d be safer if I drove than having her not able to see with all the blubbering mess.

Anyway, we got there eventually and there I was thinking that everything was normal when I saw the oddest looking moon I’ve ever seen. Just take a look:

Love Struck!

Whatever’s going on, I kinda like this bit. Imagine a world where everyone, and puppies of course,  are surrounded by love. If we can imagine it, I think we should do everything we can to make it come true.

How’s about it?

P.S. ( I just realised that that stands for Puppy Stan) When this song came on Jean went to pieces all together. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with her ~ snuggle up, I suppose.