20 February 2005

An Irish pipsqueak, 'tis I

I think I wrote about this once before, but the moment is still fresh, and it fits the criteria.

I was visiting Ireland in the fall of 1997, and on one particular day I was staying at a B&B in Howth, which is just north of Dublin.  It was late afternoon, the weather was seasonal (sunny and in the 50's), and there was a beach that bordered Dublin Bay across the road, so I decided to take a walk before finding a place to have dinner.

When I travel I seem to have a knack for finding hidden gems, and this stretch of beach qualified.  At the very end the sand formed a series of dunes and at the top I found you could easily see a championship golf course, so I walked along there for a spell.  When I reached the end, I turned back towards the water and walked along the beach.  It was windy, and there was a fresh mist in the air from the seawater.  It was brisk but I had a heavy coat, so I lingered.  It was beautiful, and up until this time I had not seen another person on my walk.

As I neared the end of the beach, I saw what I thought was an adult and a child walking in the direction towards me, but as they neared I realized that the "child" was walking on four legs.  It was a very, very big dog.  As our paths grew even closer I could see that this big dog was a St. Bernard.

I'm not a dog person.  I have nothing against them, but I just know that I am not meant to own one.  I can tolerate most dogs, but not those that are bigger than me.

If this dog and I were cars on the road, I'd be a Volvo.  The dog would be a Hummer.

I remember thinking two things: what in God's name is a St. Bernard doing in Ireland?  In my prior travels to that land I had never seen anything larger than your average "kick me" dog.  And I remember saying to myself  "just be cool, walk past the dog and everything will be all right."

I got past the dog.  I yhought everything was all right.  But the St. Bernard, once getting past me, turned, lumbered back towards me, got up on his hind legs, and started pushing me into the water.  I remember thinking that the water was going to be cold, and wondering how such a giant dog got past Irish customs.

Fotunately the owner intervened before I made a splash, muttered something about probably needing to get a leash, and went on his way.  He did not apologize.  I wanted to say something to him, but thought the better of it, since the big dog would hear it too and proably lope back to finish me off.  Compared to this beast, I felt like a pipsqueak.

(Took my 13 months, but I finally worked the word "pipsqueak" into this blog.)

Legend says that St. Patrick drove all the snakes out of Ireland.

I can only think that St. Bernard did his duty somewhere else.

1 comment:

lorileeboard said...

I'm sorry to hear of your "puppy" misadventure, but I have to tell ya, I laughed so hard my eyes were tearing.  LOL.  Excellent story!  My doggy is less than huge, but here he is.