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Dog days… It’s International Dog Day

Right, just to address a false impression, particularly on this International Dogs Day. I don’t dislike dogs.

I probably prefer cats but there are some doggies I have fallen in love with.

The first was Dinky, the Welsh corgi at Shovlin’s guesthouse in Narin-Portnoo, Co. Donegal.

A real prince of dogs, his is the breed so beloved by the Queen.

We would regularly sit on the craggs and I would throw balls to him so he could run on the wide golden sands.

Yes, that beach is all mine: Dinky

My Dear Old Dad, not the biggest animal lover, even took to him.

Narin-Portnoo was a favourite family holiday, my Mum’s parents and sister Nora lived just up the road in Brockagh, near Ballybofey.

And, of course, it was the first place I took the Scary One, when she was merely a little daunting, and the Son and Heir.

Visit http://www.carnaweenhouse.com and http://www.donegalcottageholidays.com.

Like people, I suppose we all have our types, and I venture for the loyal, sparky types. It helps if they’re cute too.

The best friend a man ever had was Greyfriars Bobby who I make no apologies in bringing up again and whom Disney made a film about.

Bobby slept on the grave of his maister (that’s Scottish for master) in Edinburgh’s Greyfriars Kirk (a graveyard). And their graves lie next to each other now.

That’s my pub too: Greyfriars Bobby

There is a statue outside the kirk, and a pub, in his honour too.

Every time I’m back in Edinburgh I make a pilgrimage up to see him, and just for research have a dram (a whisky) in the pub. http://www.greyfriarskirk.com http://www.edinburgh.org http://www.visitscotland.com

Ever work with pets

They say never work with pets or children… but television and the movies always fall back on doggies and kids. They are a sure-fire earning winner.

The best dog on TV because he is, and because he’s on the best television show ever made is Eddie, Martin’s best pal, on Frasier.

Sahara bumpety: With Sahara in Algoa Bay, off Port Elizabeth, South Africa

And because of that I always have a soft spot for Jack Russells.

Sahara. the South African Jack Russell is the mascot of Raggy Charters whale and dolphin-watching boat firm in Port Elizabeth.

Heck, I don’t think owner Lloyd would object to me saying it’s Sahara who runs things around there.

Here he is pointing out the bottlenose blue dolphins to us in Algoa Bay… it’s the bottlenose dolphin capital of the world. http://www.raggycharters.co.za. And, of course, check out all that PE and South Africa has to offer http://www.southafrica.net http://www.meetyoursouthafrica.net and http://www.nmbt.co.za.

I know there is a certain irony in begging up dogs as my South African article What’s new pussycat? was in praise of cats

But all God’s creatures have a place in the choir… and this blog.