28 February 2010

Help us win €5,000 for St Augustine's Special School, Blackrock

Our post today is very short but very important!

Every year one of our major Banks here - AIB runs a corporate responsibility programme enabling charitable groups from around the country to win some funding for their specific projects.

This year the NSLM's Mom put in an application to our local AIB branch in Blackrock on behalf of his school - St Augustine's School for children with intellectual disabilities. We were one of the lucky '3' groups picked in AIB Blackrock.

There are three amounts of money that can be won .... €2,000, €3,000 or €5,000. The group with the most amount of votes wins €5,000! Can you vote for us and help us win some money - hopefully the €5,000!

To vote please click here!

Click the Vote Now button, then follow the three Steps!

Step 1 - choose Dublin then Blackrock (under the local branch headings)
Step 2 - AIB Blackrock window will appear - click on B - St Augustine's Special School
Step 3 - just enter in your email address and click on the Vote Now button again!

As simple as that!

The money that St Augustine's win will be spent on setting up a breakfast club for some of the children in the school. We have several children from disadvantaged areas and difficult personal circumstances coming to school hungry every morning.

To come to school with no breakfast means that these kids are less able to concentrate, to behave well and to learn. These kids are already struggling with their individual learning difficulties so to be coming in to school hungry as well is very difficult. The Fundraising Committee in the school which the NSLM's Mom has helped to set up will help provide the school with the necessary funding to run a daily Breakfast Club.

Please take the two minutes necessary to vote and remember you can vote once a day every day from now until March 15th. We would really appreciate your support!

With many thanks
Clive and Murray

26 February 2010

It's Friday, so it's fish and it's also Petey's birthday!

Okay, it's Friday and the NSLM's Mom is a tad bit influenced by her upbringing and tends to insist on fish on Friday! Prawns ... don't mind if I do, thank you!
Will I go for the one on the left or the one on the right!!
Okay, I get the message, leave the prawns alone! Tinkerbell thinks she is being smart by trying to blend in with the furnishings .... but soon the smell of that trout stuffed with salmon mousse has us both at the table! Please, please, just a little taste! We have to make it clear here that I am 'at home' - 'not working' and so 'feel fully entitled to beg'! Last week while in Spain, I lay under the table in the hotel restaurant every evening and never even raised my nose up at the lovely smells. Well, I had my jacket on and knew I was working! However, at home and 'out of jacket' I can't resist trying to persuade the NSLM's dad to give me a little bit of fish! Okay, we get the message and we both sit quietly 'just watching and waiting' ..... What, dinner is over and I didn't get any!! Well, don't tell anyone but the NSLM looked after me! Thank you Murray - I love you and stuffed trout with salmon mousse!! Today is a very special day - it's Petey's 7th Birthday! Happy Birthday Petey! Murray made you a special '7' - out of little photos of you! Can you see them, Petey? and then he even smiled for a Happy Birthday - Petey photo!

The NSLM finds birthdays 'difficult' - always has and we can't seem to get him to happily go along with birthday celebrations! He was 'not at all happy' last week in the hotel when we came down to breakfast one morning and one of the tables beside us was all decorated with balloons and banners for a 'surprise' 40th birthday for one of the guests!

But Petey, he smiled tonight for you!! and he gave me a big kiss because you're far away! But we send lots of best wishes and birthday kisses .....

and I couldn't resist kissing him back .....

then it was time for few photos to show off my 'shampoo and blow-dry' that I had today!

Yes, I was cut as well, but just a 'little trim' - as specifically requested by the NSLM! Fiona, the NSLM would never let me get as well trimmed as you can get! He's very into his 'touch and feel' moments and insists on me having a very full fluffy face! So, I'm all shiny and clean and smelling 'like freshly baked waffles' - so say's the NSLM!

Have a lovely weekend everyone!

Clive and Murray

24 February 2010

Home again and lots of thanks to lots of people!

We're home again to yet more rain and much colder temperatures than Puerto Banus. It might have rained on our holiday but at least the temperatures were milder and we got to wear t-shirts and sunglasses. We have lots of people to thank today .....Firstly we want to say a huge thank to the H10 Andalucia Plaza Hotel for welcoming us so warmly and looking after us so well! Access laws for service dogs in Spain (as we have previously mentioned) vary considerably from region to region and even from one hotel or restaurant to the next! Just because one restaurant will allow a service dog in - the very next restaurant beside it can and will say NO - as we discovered. So we greatly appreciated the kindness and understanding that we encountered in the H10!
The welcome in the hotel - from reception to restaurant to bar area was fantastic! We were even given a larger suite upon check-in! Everytime we walked through the hotel or went into the restaurant we got lots of 'holas!' and big smiles and we really appreciated that! Sometimes you can feel the 'whole world' is staring at you and wondering 'what the story is' with the 'big shaggy dog' so to have lots of smiling faces and friendly comments really made a difference!Watching the rain coming down on the swimming pool and thinking of Petey! We hope it will be warmer in South Carolina, Petey! Last summer when we were in New Hampshire - it hadn't stopped raining for 40 days and they told us it was the worst summer in years! This spring in Spain we were told it has rained non-stop for three weeks and was the worst winter in years! We seem to bring the rain with us! We went up into the hills to watch some of the lads who were over from St Laurence's GAA Club in Kildare - 2009 county champions - and were playing against the local GAA team - Costa Gaels! We had all the lads staying in the hotel and they had great fun - really enjoying themselves and the night-life in Puerto Banus!We want to thank the NSLM's Uncle Séamus for organising our holiday - he lives in Spain and really his business is organising golf holidays http://www.golfexperience.com/ but he enjoys the challenges of catering to the needs of an assistance dog and family! We also loved meeting the NSLM's little cousin Kylian who is just a little taller than me! Murray did a great job of introducing me to Kylian and making sure Kylian wasn't nervous having such a big dog beside him!Kylian loved me though and was all smiles! The NSLM can be a bit wary of 'younger children' - he doesn't always understand how to interpret them but he was great with his little cousin!We have to say a big thank you to Sorcha who as ever was the great 'Big Sister' - being so good with Murray as always and teaching Kylian some new football skills! Very importantly she created a great ID card that we used when we were questioned at restaurants or shops ... we have an ID card from Irish Guide Dogs but this card Sorcha made was much better with a photo of me and an explanation in Spanish about the job I do with the NSLM!The NSLM's Mom got a little worried that such expertise could be put to use with 'fake' ID cards for her and her pals when she's a little older! Sorcha just smiled at that suggestion!!Again we would like to thank Aer Lingus for the ease we which we travelled with them this time - it really makes a big difference! Thanks also to Pointer Veterinary Clinic who had to give me my flea and tick treatment 48 hours before we flew home and finally the Department of Agriculture in Dublin Airport and the vet who was there to meet us and check on me!

Coming home we were thrilled to have a card waiting for us from Inky and Molly!You were very good Inky and Molly - it's a lovely card with two yellow fish - which made the NSLM smile! Thank you for remembering how upset he was when his big yellow fish died recently! He loved your badge too!and Sugar - you might notice your great collar is on me!! Sorcha helped Murray put the cover on my collar and the NSLM thought it looked great on me! Thank you again for sending this and the Rock and Roll Pooch Tee! We never realised we were going to get such great pressies from winning Mango Minster 2010!Thanks to Khyra for sharing the great photos of Sorcha - one of her transport dogs on Monday with us! Sorcha, here was thrilled to see her namesake and read about her going to such a good forever home .... Finally, we want to thank Asta's Mom for this great collage she made in honour of Max's World Tour .... we were so thrilled to take part in this on Valentine's Day and the photo collage is a wonderful memory of the day which we are proudly displaying now on our sidebar ...Max, you are never far from our thoughts!

Okay, this a long post but the NSLM's Mom is always teaching him about the importance of saying 'thank you' so we wanted to help him in acknowleding all the people that made our holiday run smoothly and so well and also to thank once again all our great 'blogging' friends out there!

- Clive and Murray

22 February 2010

One boy, his dog and his Dad!

In the brief moments the sun shone during the weekend we enjoyed every minute of it ... Orange Square in the old town of Marbella ... Heading down to the beach .... talking to Dad .... taking some time out at a fantastic little toyshop filled with beautiful wooden toys ...wandering around the early morning market in Puerto Banus ....admiring all the antiques for sale .... and yes, those are matching London Irish t-shirts! The NSLM adores wearing the same t-shirts as his Dad! Makes his sister cringe in embarassment when his Dad and himself wear their matching t-shirts but the NSLM loves it!looking at all the wonderful Spanish dresses for sale in the market .... Shopping for some souvenirs .... we're always on the lookout for thimbles to bring home for Grandma! Having another little chat with Dad ...We don't often post photos of the NSLM's dad but Murray was so pleased with all these photos of him and his Dad in their 'matching' t-shirts ....and finally heading home still with a little bit of sun shining and one happy boy and one happy dog!

20 February 2010

A sunnier Spain ....

Okay, the sun is out and who forgot to bring my sunglasses down to the pool??I think the water might be a bit cold, Murray!Let's head down to the Port for a walk via the beach .... The NSLM and me could walk all day .... We love looking at all the boats in particular .... Some little ones .... Trying to get the NSLM's sister to pay attention to me! Getting the photographer to actually get into a photo!
I liked this one, if anyone was listening!The Casino is part of the hotel - the NSLM and me walk past it ten times a day but so far no-one has brought us in!! Not even to check out the NSLM's card counting skills!!
from Clive in a sunny Spain (finally!)