Posts Tagged ‘Animal Hospital’

The DSPCA Chronicles

January 3, 2011

The Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals




I have just started a stint of volunteer work in the DSPCA. I was hoping to keep some sort of online diary of my antics but I’m not really sure if I’m allowed so until I get into the swing of things I’ll keep my animal diary brief. So far every trip there has been encased with snow (The shelter is up in the Dublin mountains), but the enthusiasm of the staff has been incredible. I myself was snowbound at home for a few days and couldn’t make some of my shifts but one of the volunteers apparently walked 2 hours through the snow so she could make the shelter. Now that’s dedication.

As a teen I did some work experience with them and when I applied for the volunteer work, I expected the setting to be pretty much the same-a farm house with a few kennels for dogs, and fields for horses.

Times have changed. The shelter is now a state of the art animal rehabilitation centre open to the public with the aim to rescue animals from abandonment and find a home for them.


When I know the ropes better I will upload some photos and hopefully relay some sob stories (with happy endings)

Until then check out their website

And if you see any animals that touch your heart, perhaps give them a visit and consider adopting one of them.  (Pharoh is my personal favorite, he’s a real gent on the lead)



Nafftastic-Rolf Harris

August 4, 2009


When insomnia set in on a winter’s night a few years ago, I rummaged my house for a book I had yet to conquer.  Twas on this eve that I came across Rolf Harris’ autobiography, plastered in dust since it was unwrapped Christmas 2001.  If memory serves me correctly it was a gift to my father from my maternal grandfather and reeked of desperate Christmas eve panic.  My expectation of the book was not high and it was intended to fill the fifteen minute void I take between bed and sleep that habit has made me seal with reading.  Not for one second did I expect to finish the book as up to this point Rolf Harris was something of a joke in my eyes.  Not a particularly funny joke either, more an embarrassment to the Australian community before Steve Irwin took over.  However after reading the book I was struck with respect for this hugely talented and genuinely decent man.


I reckon most people’s first thought when it comes to Rolf is Two Little Boys, or Jake The Peg.  It’s true his musical career was perhaps one of his most successful ventures, and I bet as a kid your mother sung the first to you whilst your father sung the latter…but in reality they were (as was nearly everything else he recorded) not to be taken seriously. Nor was his attempt to cover Stairway to Heaven anything other then a bit of fun.  I doubt Led Zeplin ever regarded it as bastardisation.  I suppose in a way his lack of seriousness in his music led him to be regarded as comic in all his endeavors. Take one look at his art however and try not to be awed.  An impressionist with varied themes from portraits (The Queen’s in fact) to wildlife, he is arguably the most famous living artist in the world, though ironically not necessarily for his art.


When he wasn’t creating aesthetic or audio art, there was nothing Rolf preferred than presenting a good old TV show that every member of the family could enjoy, from the dribbling toddler to the dribbling pensioner.  Is there anyone on the planet who didn’t love Animal Hospital?  And who didn’t shed a tear when Rex the dog had to be put down (The poor little Blighter)?  Or when Sammy the tortoise swallowed a button and needed surgery?   While the cute and lovable animals were the true stars of this show it was Rolf that gently harnessed it and made it so successful.  He was like your grandfather, teaching but never boring you, always with that kindly manner so that we felt we knew him. Whilst Bruce Forsyth and Noel Edmonds had egos of gargantuan proportions, sweet Rolf always kept his modesty intact and endured himself to his public for over four decades.

One Of His Amazing Paintings

One Of His Amazing Paintings

He has mostly retired now though he still does the odd Glastonbury gig -even being voted best act ever one year. His talents and achievements are numerous and often surprising, did you know he was an Olympic level swimmer in his day?  Did you also know he invented two musical instruments that are now common(ish) in modern music. Working with both The Beatles and Kate Bush over the years and presenting numerous prime time TV shows, although Rolf Harris is as naff as they come he is also legendary and is to be respected.  I hope one day he will be revered with David Hasselhoff style appreciation where students throughout the world will scream “Can you tell what it is yet” to their pregnant friends.