In Life: My Experience with the DSPCA

As I have mentioned before we got our dogs from responsible breeders, now I know people have very strong feelings about this but that was what we did and we got fantastic Labradors out of  it. When Honey, my lab, got epilepsy and at the age of 11 had chronic cancer in her liver and spleen I knew it was from her over breeding. It greatly changed my opinion on getting a dog from the popular breeds list.

I have had very little contact with the DSPCA before but after Honey died I went up to donate food and toys and I had a look around. For the next six months I would think about all the dogs in the pound and I would scour the website to see what dogs were on offer. The DSPCA is located in Rathfarnham, Co. Dublin. Not far away from me at all. When I brought up the rest of my family I knew rescuing was the best way forward and I was thrilled when we found Tiffin.

So, how was my experience?

Short answer: Very good.

Sunday: I saw Tiffin on the Sunday, I put my name down for her that day and arranged for my family to see her on that day to speed up the process. All members of a home must see the dog before you take a dog home.

Wednesday: Next was a home check, these are carried out on Tuesday and Wednesday, that Tuesday was Paddy’s day so no home check available so Wednesday rolled around and a nice man called to our home to check there was a walled garden and to talk about our dog and what would be best for her. The inspection was quick and we were good to go.

Thursday: Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays are the days of adoption, you are only allowed to adopt at 3:30 sharp on those days! Don’t be late to this, it slows the whole process down.

There were 8 of us adopting puppies so they brought us into their lecture room and two lovely women talked us through our dogs, each adopters had their own pack with individual information about their dog. There was all the relevant paperwork that you will need for your dog. The price of the adoption includes neutering, which is fantastic! It also includes a free health check and 6 weeks insurance.

I was really surprised at the amount of detail and care involved. The information pack was filled with information about what they do and also information for you and your dog.

Here are some links for further information:

  1. Here are the ways you can support the DSPCA other than adopting an animal. 
  2. Here are all the animals you can adopt.
  3. Their facebook page.
  4. Here is how you can donate to the DSPCA.

Some things to remember:

  1. The team are very busy, keep that in mind, I know you are excited but they have a lot to do.
  2. The phone may not be the best way to contact them, talking in person is the best way to get an animal.
  3. Research the breed you are interested in, know what you are getting into.
  4. Don’t get a dog because it’s cute or cuddly or ‘cool’. Just no.
  5. Always neuter! They will do this before any dog or cat goes to a new home BUT if you get a puppy or kitten, go back on your designated day and neuter your animal!
  6. Taking home an animal from a shelter can be an adjustment, they have learnt habits that may not be acceptable in your home but be patient and reward the good, do not go straight to punishment, they wont understand.
  7. Give your animal lots and lots of love, their lives didn’t get the best start, think of that when you look at them, that their life now should be the most amazing, fun filled experience from now on.

My experience with the DSPCA was great, they went into great detail, there was so much information, they provide so many services like day care and training classes. They were kind and helpful. If you ever wanted to rescue I would definitely look into getting an animal from the DSPCA!

Happy Travels!

In Life: I Got A Puppy

Sorry for the lack of blog posts but I have a good reason; it’s story time!

I lost my last dog six months ago and ever since then there has been something missing from my family, we all felt it. Myself and my mother started looking for dogs maybe a couple of months ago but there were no Labrador puppies or any puppies available in Ireland from a responsible breeder. Our last two dogs had been from responsible breeders and they were great dogs so that’s the avenue we went down first.

Around the start of February there was a news story that would change our outlook on how we looked for a dog. There was a new story about 116 puppies that had been seized at Dublin port that were on their way to England to be sold. When my mother saw the article she said she wanted one of the beagle puppies. We were all in agreement that a beagle would be a great dog for us, they are intelligent, cheeky and great for people who run and hike.

There was a problem, the puppies couldn’t be adopted because of the investigation, we didn’t know when they would be available so we started to look at other dogs in the DSPCA in the hope of a puppy. We took a couple of trips up and one Sunday morning…we found this little girl. She was one of the 116 puppies! We got to rescue her within 4 days and she is perfect!DSC_2714 copyThis is Tiffin (like the biscuit cake) she is a 15 week old Beagle pup and I love her. She is boisterous and mischievous! She is really smart and really well behaved for a puppy! She knows that she has to sit down to get back inside and she has just learnt lie down.DSC_2666 copyShe loves outside! She loves to explore and find sticks, nibble on plants and dig in the dirt (yes I am correcting all of these things) I can’t wait to bring her to the park! That’s this weeks adventure! DSC_2680 copyShe has the most beautiful face! Her big ears are just adorable. I love that she runs to me when I hunker down. That she curls up in my lap and snuggles. That she has already mastered her crate. She is wonderful. She has also learned how to get up on the kitchen table, which is so bold but I can’t help but laugh (but I am correcting her, I know it’s bad) DSC_2729 copyI love that this little girl is in my life. I am so excited for her to be my adventure buddy. If anyone wants a post on my experience rescuing from the DSPCA let me know in the comments.

So Beans, welcome Tiffin!

Happy Travels!

In Meath: The Hill of Tara

The Hill of Tara is a very famous archeological site in County Meath. It is a very important site to our history. Except I usually just to go for a stroll with friends and get some fresh air. I still haven’t been with an archeologist to learn about this place! Next time I will go and get all the information I possibly can! PhoebeGill150306033-1

The landscape and the views are beautiful in this area! There are also many sheep in this area just in case you want to get some snaps! Inside this church is the visitors centre but I have never been in. PhoebeGill150306026-1

A huge, giant reason I will be going back to this area of Meath is Maguire’s of Tara cafe. Now I went here with my foodie partner in crime Jess. We love coming together and trying new things. This instalment was trying sweet treats.

Firstly we started off with Hot Chocolate, it was delicious! Then we moved on to some chocolate squares and they were amazing! We couldn’t decide so we got three. I know, I know but we don’t care. PhoebeGill150306003-2 Firstly the classic caramel slice.

PhoebeGill150306015Then the honeycomb tiffin square.

PhoebeGill150306019 Then finally we got an Areo tiffin.PhoebeGill150306024All three were delicious and buttery and of so gluttonous. We didn’t finish all three we were able to take them away and have later on as well.


The shop also sells trinkets, books, tshirts, signs, decorations, lots of fun things that would be perfect for presents! This is the inside of the cafe (with Jess vlogging, check out her channel here)

Something that I was not expecting but was pleasantly surprised was the resident cats that hang out outside the cafe. They are super friendly and all they want is to be pet, really nice animals. As I have said many times before, I make it my mission to pet and meet lots of different animals where ever I go. PhoebeGill150306039-1I definitely recommend this area, it’s filled with history and information, although I would read up on some info before you go or have a print out if you want to walk around and know what’s what as it is just a field with very limited on site information. (There is information on the gate outside the field)

The area outside The Hill is wonderful, the amazing cafe which you have to go and check out, absolutely delicious! There is a second hand book shop filled with book from floor to ceiling and other small local shop waiting to be explored.

It might be a bit far out from Dublin but sometimes it’s nice to get out and explore.

Happy Travels!

In Wicklow: My Happy Place

cover imageI don’t know what it is but when I am out driving, to clear my head, to get away from everything, I end up here. Possibly because of it’s beauty, maybe the breeze from the valley blows away the cobwebs or maybe because I have really happy memories attached to this place. Whatever it is it is a definite must see if you are travelling around Wicklow. cold

If you are travelling in Winter it will be very cold, do you see my face? I thought my fingers were going to fall off. Bring all of your layers! You will need them. Something I really recommend if you are freezing is to go for a walk, the Ballinastoe walk right by Lough Tay is the perfect walk to do if you need to get the feeling back in your body. PhoebeGill150227073

This walk is great for a tourist because of the boardwalk, if you are afraid of getting lost, don’t worry the path will guide you. It protects the landscape because it is such a travelled route. Bring some ankle support because the boards can get uneven in places and you don’t want to twist your ankle.

PhoebeGill150227043 The boardwalk goes all the way up to the base of the mountain, and because there has been so many visitors they have carved out the path in the mountain so it is very easy to follow. Untitled-1The main attraction is Lough Tay, this beautiful lake can be seen all along the road so there are many places to view it. Stopping off at any of them will give you the most amazing pictures! This area is amazing at all times of the year so whenever you are visiting you are sure to experience the best of the area.
I love this area, it’s not far from South Dublin at all, it’s really accessible, lots of space to park your car and a great place to explore and get some great images! Have you been to this area? 

Happy Travels!