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Climbing high into the New Year ....

Posted Jan 04 2010 5:30am
This is at the base of the Great Sugar Loaf moutain - about twenty minutes down the road from us ... it's only a small mountain - 500 metres high!
On St Stephen's Day - the day after Christmas - it's a bit of tradition amongst locals and visitors alike to climb up to the top of Great Sugar Loaf!
This year it was a beautiful sunny day but icy underfoot! I tested out the pathways .....
I encouraged the rest of the family to come on! The views were stunning as we climbed higher!
Only Murray and his Mom turned back at the half-way stage! Murray was still not fully over his cold and his Mom has had two hip replacements and two dislocations so although she wanted to keep going - Murray's Dad was having none of it! Murray and his Mom walked back down carefully while ....

I led the final assault on the Great Sugar Loaf!

We could look down into Greystones and rang Grandma's house and she was able to look out her kitchen window with her binoculars and see us waving down to her!
Looking in the other direction we could see down over Dublin ..... and also across the Wicklow hills ..... the path back down looked like a shiny river - it was frozen over with ice and glittered in the sunshine .... very slippery and dangerous - no wonder Murray's Mom wasn't allowed up with us!
Here I am with Murray's sister Sorcha and his auntie Jeanne-Marie and cousin Soline who were over visiting from Poitiers in France. They minded me while Murray waited down below!
There were lots of dogs and people at the top .... and the loose scree can be a bit tricky! I posed for a final photo at the top with Sorcha!
before I led the way down .....
Murray, where are you?

I could see him waiting for me at the bottom of the mountain!
and so I rushed down to be with my NSLM!
Back at base and we all posed for a photo - together again!
Sometimes people ask us about working dogs and the hard life we must have - always having to work and concentrate and pay attention - never getting to enjoy the freedoms of a pet dog!

Well, I think you can see that I get plenty of down-time! I may work hard but I play hard too! I even got a plate of fried turkey as a treat on St Stephen's Day! Nothing like leftover turkey fried in the some turkey fat!

To finish we want to say apologies to Jeanne-Marie and Soline that it was taken us a few days or more to post the Great Sugar Loaf photos - the snow rather took over things here!

Also, we want to say how surprised and delighted we were this morning to get an email telling us we are Website of the Month in the January edition of the Irish Veterinary Journal .... if you click on the picture if will biggify! We are very honoured - thank you so much to the Irish Veterinary Journal for highlighting the work of Assistance Dogs!

and now with the sun shining and still three more days of school holidays to go .... we're heading out again for another 'bit of work'!!
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