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dcox_and_dolly Thank you for all the great feedback on our 'return'!

In this issue: we profile a home pet care service, list upcoming events and fundraisers - and put the spotlight on an animal welfare group.

Plus, we find out the joys of 'oldie' pets in our lives, take a look at a link to a cats indoors website and get expert advice on dogs and children together.

Two readers tell us about Percy the woodpigeon and Donut the kitten.

denise and Dolly
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ia_hdr Newsletter                                                       June 2009
News & Events

Fundraisers and events coming up

fundraiserbigContact me to have your fundraisers listed here

paw-print Sunday 5th of July Animal Care Society Open Day at the Durrus (West Cork) garden, featuring  unique and unusual plants.

paw-printASH Fundraiser Week 2009 July 10th - July 19th, with many events planned. They need your help!

paw-print Mayo SPCA Saturday 11th July, we will have a table with items for sale to raise funds at Supervalue, Castlebar , If you could spare an hour or so to help man this please call Frances on 086 803 2593 / 086 810 5047.
Bag Pack July 10th

paw-printRoscommon SPCA Street Collection Saturday 18 July Volunteers URGENTLY needed - anytime you can spare would be SO much appreciated. Contact 086 6613 409

paw-printKildare Animal Foundation Open Day Sunday, 19th July     1pm – 5pm at the Foundation. The Open Day is a fun packed day out for all the family. Come along kids and join our colouring contest. Browse through our stalls and enter yourselves into our raffle – you never know your luck!

paw-printDogs Aid Sunday 26th July - "Bark in the Park" Sponsored Walk starts at 3pm in St Anne's Park, Raheny, Dublin 5. We ask a donation from each walker and they will recieve a certificate with their dog's name on it at the end.

paw-printIn the May issue of the newsletter, we featured some of the groups who offer "sponsor an animal" schemes.

Services: Pet care holiday services


Dogbless is a service that can take in a customer's dogs, or mind all their animals at their home. It's run by Dee (She's a bit camera shy - so the closest I got to a piccie of her is this Anime!) and here's her story ...

One of my most significant childhood memories is the sadness of dropping our Irish setter Gibson off at the boarding kennels in England before we went on our yearly family holiday to West Cork. I couldn’t understand how on earth he was going to cope without his family around him and all the home comforts he was used to. On the ferry home I would be beside myself with excitement at the thought of rescuing him from his ‘cage!’

This feeling was compounded when the family (including dog) upped and moved to The Middle-East for a few years. Poor Gibson had to endure six months of quarantine on his way back into the UK. I recall the excitement of the weekly visits, but then the agony of having to leave him behind. Sadly, he passed away on my tenth birthday, a few weeks before his release date. (Not an illness related to his time abroad)

The irony is not lost on me then when we fast-forward thirty years and I find myself living in West Cork and running Dog-Bless a pet/animal holiday service that offers an alternative to kennels.

db2Now there is nothing wrong with a good boarding kennel, there are some fantastic kennels here in Ireland, however, its good to have a choice as to what sort of accommodation and/or care our pets will receive whilst we are away. (Pictured left: DogBless resident Willie Wonka, left, and Sparky a frequent Dog Bless guest ... ready for action!)

In Ireland, the popularity of dog ownership has increased dramatically in the last ten-fifteen years as the countries thriving economy encouraged the owning of dogs for pleasure rather than just the traditional working dogs. Also with more women taking the lifestyle choice of a career instead of raising families we have a new type of dog owner who need their ‘babies’ needs attended to whilst they are at work or on business trips. Many dedicated professional pet care home care services sprang up around Ireland to meet these demands.

db1Dog Bless was the first of its kind in County Cork. We offer dog walking, home visits, vet visits, as well as day care and family care where dogs can come and stay and live as part of the family. Lots of beach walks and not a kennel or cage in sight!

We also cater for the traditional family households who may have a couple of dogs, cats and a cage full of rodents, the pets being cared for in their own home environment is a much easier alternative to finding kennels, catteries etc for the annual family holiday.  Or indeed the small holder who may have livestock and domestic pets to consider, even those living ‘The Good Life’ need a break!

dollymollyI find the little extras make all the difference; regular email/text updates are a great way of putting a clients mind at ease. (Nothing like watching videos of a much-loved dog bouncing round the beach with his new doggy pals to enrich a holiday)  Or a text to say “Prince has fallen in love with Lady and has given up his morning Pigs ear to her!” can do wonders for a tough day at the office. (Pictured: denise of Irish Animal's own Dolly and Molly - a photo that I sent to her while she was travelling.) 

In the meantime, I get lots of fresh air and exercise and great job satisfaction in seeing my charges happy, well cared for and loved. I also get to feel the most popular person in the world. All that doggy love! 

Often, with a wry smile, I find myself preparing my charges (owner supplied) food for the evening knowing my own dinner will nowhere near as substantial (or succulent) as the sirloin I am chopping! These days it’s definitely a dog's life…

  • Dogbless is a dog walking/animal holiday care service covering the Clonakilty, Bandon, Dunmanway and Rosscarbery regions of West Cork. Contact 0879545756or

Editor's note: When checking out any of these pet sitting services available in Ireland, such as those listed on my website, please spend time researching and asking questions of the people providing the service.  Ask about their insurance coverage, any qualifications they have for working with animals, a visit of their premises and also references.