30 March 2011

When Clive went to Cannes .... (a post from the archives)

We are having some blogging issues the past few days and can't get new photos to publish for us (and we have lots) - whilst we are sorting out our photo issues - Murray and Clive have been looking through the archives and remembering some of the best bits of being together ....

Murray - always happy to talk about travelling - chose an old favourite to post up again - "that time Clive and himself went to Cannes in search of Mr Bean ....."


Cannes - was very special!

Murray's excitment when we arrived at Nice Airport was incredible - he grabbed me and ran out from the Airport to touch the first palm tree he saw! He needed to FEEL he was in Cannes! More importantly I needed to spend - after several hours lying beside the his feet on the airplane. I wouldn't have minded going by boat ..



The beach was the first place we went .... just like Mr Bean ...

Aer Lingus were great this time, we had no difficulties checking in at either Dublin or Nice and the flight attendants were really friendly and kept offering me water and checking that we were okay!



Palm trees, the beach, the hotels - Murray got more and more excited at everything he saw - he was really in Cannes ... But where was Mr Bean?

We travelled with the Travel Department, an Irish tour operator and I guess I was probably the first service dog and certainly the first assistance dog to travel with them - but they were great - the other people on the tour were very friendly - they kept chatting to the Murray's Mom about me!! She did a lot of explaining this weekend .... even though there were lots and lots of French dogs everywhere - most were small dogs - and I created quite an impression .... 'comme un petit cheval' was a constant refrain and I don't think I'm like a little horse at all!

Murray got really excited when he saw the red carpet at the Palais des Festivals - so much so, that we went back to the Palais twice to let the him experience it! The International Film Festival begins in less than two weeks time ..... wish we were there for that!! We could see the hotels getting ready for it.

Walking along La Croissette was Murray's favourite activity - because he was constantly on the look-out for Mr Bean. This boulevard is Cannes' main attraction and very long and it was very warm ...

I should have had a trim before I went ... We stayed in the Novotel Cannes Montfleury and I wasn't the only dog staying in the hotel.

There was a very nice beagle (reminded us of the Dughallmor Beagles) and a lovely airedale terrier (made us think of Maggie & Mitch) staying there as well. These were pet dogs - able to stay in the hotel - unlike in Ireland - where it's only working dogs. In the restaurants and bars as well, we saw so many dogs - Murray was amazed - dogs everywhere! The concierge, Vivien, in the hotel was particularly nice bringing us all to the vet on Saturday morning - I had to be flea & tick treated 48 hours before we left Cannes! Cannes was canine heaven though ...

In the old town of Cannes, le Suquet - there were great views down over Cannes and the 12km long beach. There was a lovely church at the summit, the 12th century chapelle Ste-Anne. The little man always loves visiting churches and lighting candles so we lit a candle especially in memory of Petey's Grandma. We better stick in one photo Murray's Mom with me - seeing as she did all the organisation and planning for the weekend .... she was really impressed with the friendliness and warmth we received everywhere we went - whether we were sitting in restaurants, a bar or having a look around a shop - there was always a friendly smile, a few warm words and a hug or a kiss for either Murray or me! Cannes was warm and sunny, full of wonderful hotels and palm trees ... With lots of really interesting places to visit ... Murray's Mom especially loved Le Suquet and they had the best meals there .... Murray loved his burger cooked rare - they don't do that here! He got really excited when he saw lots of platters of seafood - and laughed when his Mom ate a big plate of fried frog's legs with noodles (yes, in an interesting Vietmanese retaurant) - which were actually lovely - because she slipped me a few!! When she asked Murray on Sunday evening, did he mind that we haven't found Mr Bean and was he happy that he got to go to Cannes .... she got this smile which kind of said it all !!
- Clive in Cannes


So that was Clive and Murray in Cannes in May 2009 - a great trip and one that Murray still talks about constantly. He of course still watches Mr Bean all the time - in fact while we were in Disneyland Paris two weeks ago - he wanted to stand in the train station at Marne-la-Vallee (the Disney station) just to hear the 'announcement call' because he associates it so much with Mr Bean's and his journey on the TGV ....


We're trying to post up some new photos - we have lots of photos of Clive and Clint working hard fundraising last week and Clive's new bed - a treat for all the work he does .... so hopefully we're back fully operational in a day or two!


In the meantime, we're back out fundraising .....

Clive & Co

25 March 2011

Clive's wins €10,000 for Assistance Dogs for Autism!!!!!

CLIVE AND MURRAY WIN €10,000 FOR THE ASSISTANCE DOG PROGRAMME ..........



We got a very special phonecall this afternoon - confirmation that we had won €10,000 in the Actimel Your Full of Life Winter Moments Competition!

We were beyond excited and delighted ......

Murray is actually home sick so he got to immediately share in the celebrations!!

He was so happy that Clive won the money ..... "wicked awesome" - that's all we've heard all afternoon!

So, to the list of all those we have to thank and it's a bit like the Oscars ....

"Clive and Murray are incredibly happy and honoured to have won €10,000 for the Assistance Dog Programme, they and all the family would like to thank everyone who supported them and voted for them during the campaign and there were lots of you .....

  • firstly, to all our family and friends - thank you for taking this campaign on board and sharing and linking every single day of the two month campaign ...

  • to everyone in Irish Guide Dogs who got behind our campaign to win the money - to all the staff from Padraig our CEO down - we really appreciate your continued support! Special mention to Elaine (the best receptionist ever) - who never missed a day talking to us and supporting us and reminding everyone on the IGDB FB page to vote for us!

  • to all our FB friends and to the many new FB friends we made over the past few months - we could never have done it without you! You all took this campaign on as your own personal 'fundraising campaign' and your total commitment and continuous support was truly inspiring and amazing!

  • special mention to one very special person - Paul Murphy - Clive's campaign manager - we could never have kept up the momentum without Paul. It he had charged for his services he'd have been a millionaire by the end of the campaign! Paul's daily updates and his continued 'eye' on the voting patterns was invaluable to us! Paul - you were truly wonderful!

  • to all our blogging friends in Ireland who could vote and to all our blogging friends around the world who couldn't but kept sending us messages of support and good wishes throughout the duration of the voting campaign ....

  • to every contact we had on our computer - old friends, new friends, work colleagues past and present, friends from our fundraising activities, friends from school, friends from various committees, friends from the football club, the basketball club - we annoyed you all for votes and you voted!!

  • and finally to the best husband in the world who told us 'we couldn't and wouldn't do it' so we went out and totally proved we could!! We know you only said that to make us put more effort into trying!!!


Clive, Murray and Fiona - thank you all - you were and are the reason that today - Irish Guide Dogs has €10,000 more for their Assistance Dog Programme!!

We'll say it again and we'll say it LOUDLY .....

"YOU ARE ALL THE REASON WE WON TODAY - THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF OUR HEARTS"

- Clive, Murray and Fiona



24 March 2011

Murray on meeting Mickey Mouse and lots more .....

It's me Murray with all my Disney photos .... I love Disney a lot! I do the same rides every year in the same order - first it's the Carousel - then the teacups .....

Mom was very good and took lots of photos for me - I like to have lots and lots of photos. I love the Once Upon a Time Dream Parade .....

I love when the villians appear .....

There was lots of Irish dancing for St Patrick's Day ..... I don't like dancing but Sorcha does!

I wanted to see the parade every day ......

I love 'It's a Small World' - I want to live there when I grow up. When I am 18 and big like Daddy I am going to work in It's a Small World and sing the song all day long!

I love Disney at night - I love all the lights ..... I love eating in the Rain Forest Cafe and standing beside the elephants! I love when they make lots of noise!

I love going to Disneyland for St Patrick's Day - Pluto is always playing with me .... he remembers me every year! I think Pluto is "wicked awesome"!

I love to see Minnie and Mickey in their green clothes for St Patrick's Day ....

This year I met the Incredibles and Rémy and Émile for the very first time! That made me very happy!

I love the new Parachute Jump in the Studios .... I loved going up and down and up and down .....

I love the Studio Tram Tour - when the fire and water come down I love it! Mom took lots of photos and Daddy took a video of it all.

I love the Stars in their Cars Parade in the Studios ......
I kept telling Mom - "are you taking photos, are you taking photos" ....

I love all the Princesses! I didn't see Rapunzel - she won't be there until April Mom says!

I love everything about Disneyland Paris .... it makes me very happy going there!


When can I go back??

- Murray

ps-both Murray and his Mom came home with colds from Disneyland - it was very cold there this year, so they are a bit behind blogging and visiting all their friends. They hope to catch up over the weekend!

We still haven't heard from Actimel about the photo competition - many thanks for all the enquiries - Clive's photo is amongst the Final Five being judged at the moment and we have been told we will know early next week ..... paws crossed!!

20 March 2011

Irish Blog Awards 2011 - Best Specialist Blog - Clive wins!!!

Irish Blog Awards 2011 - Best Specialist Blog - Winner

The Irish Blog Awards took place last night in Belfast - unfortunately we were on our way home from Disneyland Paris and couldn't make the ceremony in Belfast - but we were really thrilled and delighted and very honoured to win the Best Specialist Blog Award!

A fellow blogger - Sharon Fennell - The Voyage - stepped in and collected the award on our behalf. Many thanks to Sharon for helping us out and we really would have been there if we could have been ..... Murray's Dad reckons we need to stay at home more!

Blogging has been an important part of our lives for the past two years! It began when we started to read our friend Lisa's blog - Hammiesays - Lisa has two children on the autistic spectrum and we are always and continually in awe of all that Lisa does. We decided to give blogging a 'go' and here we are two years later - winning a major award! Clive and Murray have enjoyed every minute of blogging about their lives and now we have Sorcha on board too - blogging with us on a Sunday!
Although this Sunday she has let us back in to talk about the Irish Blog Awards and we appreciate that Sorcha! She has been a 'great kid' these past few days - as her basketball coach said! She took the decision to stay behind last Wednesday and fly out later in the day to Paris on her own! She changed terminals, got the TGV and arrived on Wednesday night - to meet a very relieved Mom and a very happy Murray!
More importantly, she captained her team to success - they won the Leinster Schools Basketball Final for the first time ever! Well done to Sorcha and all the girls and their great coach, Mark Ingles!

We will be back tomorrow with stories of Disneyland Paris and the fun of travelling there with Murray - no seriously, most of it, worked out fine! We didn't have Clive - which was continually a source of upset for Murray but we think we made the right decision.

Dublin won today in the Division I league - beating Mayo - Clive as ever is a happy dog tonight! Plus the Dublin Ladies U-14 (Sorcha's team) beat Wexford yesterday (Sorcha didn't get back early enough from Paris for that match so she's not allowed a trip away again for the foreseeable future!)

So, we've had a few wins in the last few days and we came home to an email from Actimel regarding the photo competition we entered last January! We are down to the Final Five! We've had to send them in some additional information but we are crossing paws and everything else that we hear good news this week! That €10,000 would make a huge difference to help train an assistance dog for a child with autism.

Finally, we just want to thank everyone involved in the Irish Blog Awards 2011 for a terrific competition - to those who nominated us, shortlisted us and finally judged us the winner in the Best Specialist Blog category - we want to say a huge 'thank you'!

To Damien Mulley who has been organising the Irish Blog Awards for the past six years - we were very sorry to read today that you are stepping down Damien and that this might have been the last year for the Irish Blogs Awards, we really hope it it not ...

There is a wonderful world of bloggers out there and we count ourselves very lucky to be part of it all .......

16 March 2011

Happy St Patrick's Day from Clive and all the gang .....

From Clive and all the family - we wish you a very Happy St Patrick's Day for tomorrow ....

We'll be back in a few days .......

We hope wherever you are around the world tomorrow - you enjoy St Patrick's Day!

- Clive & Co


15 March 2011

It's Murray on Monday a bit late with the story of the 3 Bears ....

It's me, Murray!
Mummy and Daddy and me are going to Disneyland Paris tomorrow morning!
I am very happy about that!
Sorcha is not going with us!
I am not happy about that!
Daddy says Sorcha will fly out later after her match!

I am not sure about that!

Mummy says it will okay - the three of us will be fine!

I like things in three - so I said "okay we are like the 3 Little Bears ..."

Daddy Bear, Mummy Bear and Baby Bear going away together ...

But then I said "I want Goldilocks (my Sorcha) to come too ....

and THEN I asked ..... "what about Clive??? - "is he coming too??"

and NO, he's NOT, again!!

- so this is me Murray on Monday not very happy and a bit mad!

- Murray


Note from Murray's Mom: Sorcha is in fact flying out later tomorrow afternoon to Paris (on her own) after her basketball match. She is captain of her 1st year school team and it is the Leinster Schools Final so there was no way she wanted to miss the match. Her coach tried to get the other team to agree to an earlier start but they wouldn't agree to a time change. So Sorcha is paying for herself to fly out later and is happy to fly out on her own and make her own way to Disneyland Paris! Murray is never happy with changes in routine so he's not taking this well!

Also, despite Murray really wanting Clive to go to Disneyland - we just thought it would be a lot for Clive to cope with .... and we are only away for four days. Murray will have Dug with him and Pluto always manages to be extra kind to Murray and Clive will be well looked after at home in Dublin!

13 March 2011

Sorcha on Sunday ..... the things that me and Clive do for Murray!!

Hi, it's me Sorcha here on Sunday with Clive .....

Murray was not in good mood this morning - he says he spends all his weekend going to my basketball and football matches. He didn't want to leave the house - even with Clive!

So, to cheer him up - I dressed Clive up in my basketball top .....

and I dressed up all his Build-a-Bear plush toys in 'green' for St Patrick's Day this week .... Even Pluto and Dug wore 'green' ...

It made Murray smile a bit and Clive sat up on Murray's bed with all Murray's toys to get Murray to smile a little bit more ......
Murray was getting happier .... he should be - he's going to Disneyland Paris AGAIN this week - it's 9 years in a row now! I told Mom she shouldn't 'indulge' Murray like this .... She told me I enjoy it too so 'enough Sorcha'. I told her I've got a basketball match the morning we're flying out to Paris and I'm not missing that!!! We'll still discussing that one ...........
Anyway, Clive and me had done enough to try and cheer Murray up ..... we needed to get to my football match!

Clive yawned and said 'enough Sorcha' - I agreed and went off to play my match! (and yes, we won!). So that's me, Sorcha having tried to get my 'little' brother to smile today and convince my Mom that basketball is more important than visiting Mickey and Minnie!

- Sorcha on Sunday

10 March 2011

Clive's thankful Thursday .....

We're thankful for lots of things this Thursday .....
  • Thankful for great friends .... we have friends who have been working on a very special project for the past few weeks which will make a huge difference to Murray and Clive and lots and lots of other assistance dog families! We'll be able to tell you more about it very soon but for now we just wanted to say how amazing some people are and how incredible they are with the amount of time and effort they will put into doing things to make life a little easier and more special for children with autism!
  • Thankful for the appearance of spring after a very hard winter ... finding lots of frog spawn in the pond really thrilled Murray this morning. (We took photos - we'll post again!)
  • Thankful that Murray's Mom has developed a more calm attitude to people commenting on Murray these days! When the lady in the supermarket today went over to ask Murray about Clive while his Mom was packing the groceries - and the following conversation took place ....

Lady - "that's a strange looking dog you have there with you, what's he's doing in the shop?"

Murray - "he's my dog Clive, Clive's a goldendoodle"

Lady - "yes, but what's he doing in the shop with you and why have you got him with you?"

Murray - "he's my dog Clive. Clive is my dog - he's my dog"

Lady - "yes, but you're not answering my questions, you're a bit thick are you?"

and with that, she turned around and said to everyone and no-one in particular "he's a bit thick that child" and walked out!

Murray's Mom was caught unawares whilst trying to pack, watch Murray and Clive and pay for her groceries so she didn't run after the woman and give her a piece of her mind! There was a time for would have .... She must be getting more mellow in her 40's!!

Anyway, Murray didn't get upset at any of the conversation - he didn't understand the questions been thrown at him in that manner so he just kept answering to the best of his ability! His Mom did get upset but then there are days you just have to decide to be thankful that most people are not like that and that we don't often get encounters like that whilst out shopping!


  • Hugely thankful to those friends who nominated Clive's Blog in the Irish Blog Awards 2011 - we were amazed to firstly get nominated, then get shortlisted in the Best Specialist Blog category and then to discover that we are one of the five finalists in the Best Specialist Blog category .....

  • Thankful now to be home and smelling meatballs cooking ....

- Clive

ps-we had a comment on Shrove Tuesday and our pancakes and were asked what that was about .... Well, it's the last day before Lent when all butter, eggs etc were meant to be used up. Yesterday, Ash Wednesday was the beginning of Lent - a period that traditionally marks a time of fasting and abstinence in the Catholic religion. It was a big part of Murray's Mom childhood and she does like to follow traditions - therefore, Murray's Mom is giving up wine, Murray is giving up chocolate chip cookies and Clive is giving up barking at the postman! So for the next 40 days, well 39 now - there could be one very grumpy Mom, Boy and Dog in the house!! But the postman will be happy!!



08 March 2011

07 March 2011

Murray on Monday - on Morocco, monkeys and much more ....

It's me - Murray on Monday ....

I like things in threes ..... things in threes make me happy!

Last week in Spain I liked sitting on the beach and looking out to sea to see three countries .... I could see Spain, Gibraltar and Morocco .... I could see them at sunset .....


I could see them all day long when I collected shells on the beach .... Morocco was on the left, Gibraltar in the middle and Spain on the right! I liked counting three countries every day!


I like Morocco a lot, I wanted to go back to Morocco last week but Mommy said 'no'. I don't know why ...... I like the camels in Morocco and their spicy chicken! I like that a lot!


I don't like Gibraltar! I don't like monkeys on my head. We went there on August 14th 2005 - I never want to go back! I like to look at Gibraltar from my beach collecting shells but I do not want to go there ever again ......


I liked sitting at the hotel - if we could sit in threes ..... that's me, my Grandad and my Daddy .....


I liked the hotel cats when they came to me for breakfast - if they came in threes .....


I liked walking with my sister Sorcha and my cousin Kylian .... because we were three together ...


I like a lot of things about Spain but most of all because they have a Carrefour in Estepona that sells Spongebob Squarepants plush toys. I want to live in Spain beside the Carrefour. I asked my Mommy to move there - Clive and me would like to live beside the Carrefour in Estepona.
I keep waiting to hear an answer .....

I told my teacher in school that Spain was 'wicked awesome' ... I liked the shells, I liked Carrefour .... I think that made her happy. She used to live in Spain too!

This is me Murray on Monday!


Daddy has gone to Berlin this week - I asked him to call into a butcher shop and ask for Augustus Gloop but he said that was Dusseldorf and Berlin is not the same!



Note from Murray's Mom - although we thought about going over to Morocco this time when we were in Spain and its only a short 35 minute ferry ride away - with all the political unrest in Northern Africa we decided against it. There had been reports of looting in Tangiers which is where the ferry would have docked.


One of Murray's favourite films is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory so with his Dad away this week in Berlin - he was convinced he would get to meet Augustus Gloop - that was a hard one to try and explain last night!!