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.



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.