Seaweed Baths and …



Hi Everyone,

Puppy Stan here and I’m not so sure I should be here but I was missing you all and saw my chance to get my paws onto the computer.

Lucky little me, I’ve been at the beach pretty much every day since I last wrote and I even got to have a seaweed bath. I heard people talking about how good they are for your skin so I thought my coat could do with a bit of oiling up so I took to the most seaweedy rock pool I could find.

Cool, isn’t it?





I hope you’re de-stressing as much as you can ‘cos as I say:

It’s when you’re all relaxed that you get the best out of yourself and everyone around you.

Talk soon,

Puppy Stan

P.S. Please don’t tell Jean I was here ‘cos she mightn’t be too impressed. I hope I can get all the bits of sand and seaweed off the keyboard. Help!!!!!!!





Petrified to Stanity

Hi Everyone,

I don’t think I will ever get over the wibble-wobbles that I  got yesterday when the big storm was on. I was a silly, silly, stupid puppy to say that I wanted to go when Jean said: Hey are you coming to see the waves?’

I didn’t recognise any of the beaches that we went to cos the waves were big as houses and, anyway, there were big blobs of white salty stuff blowing into my eyes so I couldn’t see properly.

I was all of a dither when I was asked the same question again this morning. I didn’t want  a repeat that awful feeling in my tum-tum just looking at the sea turning itself all upside down but I decided to give it a go mainly cos I’d heard the birds chirping out in the garden.

I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw that the sand had come back and the sea was kinda back to normal but I still didn’t trust it.

Here’s how it was when we went to the shore:

Kilfarrasy Beach

That foamy stuff looked like whipped cream to me ~ and I love whipped cream ~ but I  strongly suspected that it would be salty and not sugary. I was right, for once!

The skyscraper waves were more like big dog kennel size and the sky was kinda smiling as well. It looked like paintings that Jean is always looking at by someone whose name I can’t remember.

The Smiling Sky


So, I was able to relax and get stuck into chewing some chunks of seaweed. Very tasty they are just in case you ever want to give them a try.

Happy in my ‘Comfort Zone, ‘ Thank You.

So all’s well again … and I hope it is for you too, if it was in a wobble.


Puppy Stan


P.S. The lesson from all this is: Stay well away from the mad seas when there’s a big storm and know that calm will come back even if that looks impossible.

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.



Blog Comments

Comments are a huge part of being in blog land. They are what makes it such sociable place to hang out.

The other day a comment landed here on Social Bridge from Tara at Tara Sparling Writes. Tara’s  blog, from here in Ireland,  is one that I read as much for the banter in the comments as for the witty posts themselves.

The comment that she wrote was in response to Puppy Stan’s, Love Bites, and this is what she said:

I ‘m sorry I disappeared for a while there, Jean, while I was caught up in booky things. It was my loss. I could have done with a daily dose of Stanliness throughout that whole time…

I loved the idea of Stanliness and, by coincidence, that night I heard an interview on BBC Radio 5 Live about how words get into the Oxford English Dictionary. The one that was under discussion was Brexit.

Brexit has certainly become one of the most used and abused words of 2016 and, along with Trump, it seems destined to be part of our daily round for quite a few years.

Thing is, though,  Stanliness is an even more fundamental part of my everyday life than either Brexit or Trump and it seems to have legs and a wagging tail.

Today, I got the full vision of what Stanliness actually means. It happened all in a moment out in the woods:

Puppy Stan

The framed face with those deep, determined eyes, pressing through the tangle of winter, brought me straight to this quote that I’ve long loved:

In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, and invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back. (Albert Camus)

Yes, Puppy Stan represents my ‘invincible summer’ and Stanliness is something that can be shared, should be shared.

That one word in a comment can be so thought-provoking speaks volumes for the power of blogging and the connections that we make through it.

I’d love to hear about comments that have caused you to pause and lingered long in your consciousness. 





Hi Everyone,

I hope you like my new bit of wisdom. I’m still all of a quiver thinking about the little episode that happened today to make me write it.

Me and Jean were out at the beach late in the afternoon. It had been pelting down with hard raindrops from early morning and even I didn’t want to go out in it until there was a bit of a clear up. So, by the time I got out I was racing around, chasing birds and sniffing at stuff.

I heard a little sort of whine, one that was like an echo of me, coming from behind a big rock and I went to see who was there. You’d swear it was me, except all geared up for swimming. It had whiskery things that I don’t really have. We looked at each other in as if we were looking at ourselves and next thing he looked into my eyes in that begging sort of way that I have down to a fine art.

The pair of us whined and gave little barks and Jean came to the bottom of the cliff where we were to see what I was up to. She looked pretty stunned when she saw us and, for some reason, she insisted on putting me on the lead.

She pulled me away and whispered that my new friend was a seal and that he had been tossed out of the sea where he lives. We went ever so quietly round the rock to check him out. He looked a bit awkward and embarrassed but next thing he took off down the sand with us walking beside him. He was able to move, I can tell you. When he got to the edge of the water, he looked up at us for a split second and then disappeared into the waves. This is the last we saw of him:

Puppy Seal

I was all upset when he vanished and for a second or two I thought about swimming out after him but got cold feet:

He Who Hesitates!

But, I must tell you that there was the most incredible sunset you’ve ever seen. I thought that Jean was going to get us cut off by the tide cos she was so engrossed just looking at it and H U G E big waves were lashing in and making the beach awful small. This is what SHE was looking at while I was planning a night on the beach in the freezing cold waiting for the tide to go back out again. (It does go back out eventually!)

The Red Sea

Oh, while I’m at it, let me offer another few words of wisdom:

The tide comes in a lot faster when there’s a lovely sunset so make sure that you have someone sensible with you.  (Puppy Stan)

With Love,

Puppy Stan.

P.S. If you see Puppy Seal, tell him that I miss him and hope he is well.