As I mix up a bowl of cornbeef and kibble for Hooper on this rainy Big Pine Key morning, I wish a beautiful, sunny, and calm day for the nation, especially for my friends and family up, and around,  New York City, as they prepare for the big St. Pat’s Day parade!

My sister, will be arriving tomorrow to Big Pine, seeking refuge from the recent “no name” storm that swept the Northeast and  felt like a hurricane.  She and David lost several “ancient” trees, one actually came through the bay window of their beautiful home built in the late 1920s.  It’s been a horrific winter up there and they certainly need a break.  My husband and I endured three of the four major snowstorms, so we were glad to have missed that one!

Rich, and his nephew, Eric Hansen, visiting from Tuckerton, NJ, have headed north to Marathon to try to get some fishing in.  His wife, Gail, and I, contemplate how we might spend the day celebrating The Wearing of the Green.  Wherever we may go, Hooper is likely to be welcome, as I have written before, the Florida Keys are one of the most dog friendly places I know.

On sunny and warm days, Rich and I might take a drive up to Marathon with our dog, letting her swim and romp on beautiful Sombrero Beach.  After, we might stop at the Dockside Bar for a bite, and a few drinks, a leashed Hooper content and napping beneath our feet as we survey a motley crew of boaters and golfers.  Or, we might even cross the Overseas Highway and lunch at the Keys Fisheries, where a bowl of cool clean water and some dog biscuits might be offered to a weary Hooper.

Leashing Leprachauns! Yesterday, down at the famous Schooner Wharf Bar, in Key West, we watched as a local sauntered up to the bar, his little dachsund craddled in his arms. The dog with his soulful eyes, rested its chin on the bar as if to ask, “what’s on tap?”  Earlier, at the “Dog’s Breath” Saloon, I had to convince a couple with their hot, and tired Golden retriever that it really was okay to bring their dog into that establishment.  A “come-on-in” wave from the bartender finally did the trick.

The late great legendary dog trainer, Captain Arthur Haggerty must have enjoyed celebrating St. Pat’s Day.  Growing up the product of an Irish, dog-loving family in the Bronx, New York, his father, and grandfather appropriately breeders of Irish setters.  Did you know that there are many dog breeds that hail from the Emerald Isle?  The Irish, Kerry Blue, and Glen of Imaal terriers, the Irish setter, Irish water spaniel (which Hooper the Portuguese water dog is claiming to be today), the Kerry beagle, irish wolfhound (the world’s tallest dog), and the Irish Red and White setter that made it’s Westminster debut this February.

On this one day of the year, I think every dog, like every human, claims to have a little Irish in them (my mother’s ancestors hail from the Derring, Whalens of County Clare), and my man Rich has a healthy dose of Leprachaun in his gene pool.  So get out those green bandanas and doggy vests, and emeral encrusted collars and leashes and go for an extra long jaunt  through a wide field of four-legged clover. 

Notes on “The Blog” – Josh Abrams is the Founder and CEO of, a “dog-centric social media community” for people who are passionate about their pooches.  In the coming days, you’ll learn more about this man, who in addition to launching this successful site two years ago, has trained over 100 service dogs as the CCI (Canine Companions for Independence) Participant Coordinator for the entire Northeast region of the United States. Keep reading to learn more about these special people who dedicate their lives to enhancing the dog-human connection.