Three To One

It didn’t take long to get outnumbered in my household.

November 2011 – Final score: 2 girls to my one. The birth of our daughter.

October 2017 – New final score: 3 girls to one.

The new girl being the pup Jessie:

Border Collie Cross.

Cross with what, who knows? Maybe lab, maybe greyhound or whippet.

The white divine cross symbolized on her chest identifying her as the newest member of our family. And officially tipping the female to male ratio over to its girl majority.

Finding Our Marshmallow

In late 2017 we drove out to Mallow, County Cork. To look for a pooch at the Mallow Animal Rescue Center.

A long round trip from County Wicklow where we lived.

We could’ve visited more of a local rescue center, but something about the photos and descriptions of dogs needing a home drew us there.

We were looking for a young adult dog that was good with children and needing a new caring home. We weren’t looking for a pup.

We left Mallow having reserved a new born puppy.

When we arrived that morning we were led around to a small fenced enclosure housing three border collie puppies.

“Maybe have a look at the pups”

And so it began.

The enclosure contained two boys, both brothers and their sister. A family affair.

Three balls of black and white fluff. No more than a few weeks old.

One of the worker volunteers opened the gate for us to have a closer look. The two brothers bolted in excitement to play straight past us. Without thinking about it. As boys do.

Sister pup ran straight up to my daughter. Thinking about it. As girls do.

White cross marking covering her chest. Divine intervention – for her and for us.

No Planes, No Trains, But Definite Automobiles

The pup arrived at our home via a circuitous route. 

As part of the rescue centers delivery van stop offs, she traveled from Mallow, to Dublin, to Carlow – where I picked her up.

She rode in the back of my car from Carlow to our home in Wicklow. She was sick of traveling and sick in general.

The poor pup suffered from car sickness.

When my wife and daughter greeted her at our front door they noticed one thing. She had almost tripled in size.

Remember the original Alien movie?

Crew lands on a distant planet. Curious George looks straight into a freshly opened pod he has no business looking into. Pod creature wraps itself around his neck and face. Creature gets removed back on the ship. Curious George has his last supper. New born alien creature bursts out of his chest and disappears in to the dark bowels of the ship.

A few hours later another crew member comes across the alien creature.

Which has become an instant fully grown beast.

That was this pup. Only not quite as big and far less dramatic.

Pup was very cute.

Pup deposited diarrhea all over our bedroom floor that first night. On strategically placed pieces of newspaper covering the carpet. Not on the carpet itself, thank goodness.

Pup kept us up at night like a new born baby.

Pup became less cute.

Pup’s new bedroom became the kitchen. Immediately.

She settled very quickly. She had a comfy bed. She had some good chew options. The kitchen table leg got it, the kitchen pot plant got it. 

Puppies chew things don’t they? It’s okay.

Pup slept in her little bed (before she destroyed it) while my wife studied at the kitchen table. Study time had to be scheduled around pup nap time. When pup woke up it was all go.

My daughter named her Jessie. It fit. She became Jessie’s girl.

Cue Rick Springfield..


Nervous Jervis

In her first year Jessie was a nervous girl. Nervous of people. It’s understandable. She’s a rescue dog. 

Mallow Rescue Center had rescued her mother from cruelty. Jessie was born at the center.

They have done and continue to do an outstanding job with all of the dogs and animals they help.

Mama was still pregnant before being rescued. That abuse at the hands of a human would have passed though to Jessie energetically.

Jessie didn’t want to go for walks in the early days. She sunk her hips in. My wife had to practically drag her out of the house.

Once she got going she was okay until she spied someone. Two kids with a soccer ball two hundred meters away sent her sprinting in the opposite direction.

She loved the way back, the home straight. She would go Husky style and drag my wife toward the front door of our house.

She was fast and strong. Still is. Only faster and stronger.

“We gotta move?”


South South East

A couple months later were forced to move house.

The move became a blessing, a better location for us. And better for Jessie.

We did the move ourselves. Bad idea. I hired a long wheel based white van. It would take us several long distance trips between the current and the new place. Over two days.

Jessie had to be left at home during the moving trips up and down.

On the afternoon of the final day my wife was going to clean the old house while I continued with van trips and our endless belongings.

We came home from one particular moving trip to find a loaf of bread torn into. Ravaged. Pieces of sliced loaf smudged up against and into the kitchen walls. Bread everywhere. A new display of art.

I popped Jessie into the back of the van to take her for a walk in an opposite housing estate. My daughter wanted to ride in the van. Jessie was in the back of the van for less than two minutes, maybe a minute and a half. I stopped at our destination to let her out.

She had let loose in the back of the van. Floating faeces rolling down a urine river. In that short period of time. More cleaning.

On one of our final evening drives, we rode a two car convoy to the new house. Both cars packed with our remaining belongings.

Jessie rode in my car. My wife followed in hers. Jessie got loose within the back of the car about a hundred yards down the road.

Jessie let loose into a bag of freshly laundered clean linen. The whites. 

I had to hop out and adjust the back of the car. I opened the boot and something got caught. My wife was parked in her car directly behind. A dance song was on her radio. I struggled with the boot of my car making frantic arm movements synchronized to the beat of her music. A mad dance. It looked ridiculous.

She lost it then, simultaneously laughing and crying at the same time. It had become the move from hell.


Courtesy Paramount Pictures/ Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer


Dr Doolittle

Growing up in South Africa my wife’s family had a wide range of pets. As a girl, as a teenager, as a young adult.
Mostly dogs. Rescue dogs, pavement specials. Some Basset hounds and other breeds. Some birds, rodents.
A family of pet lovers.
Some cats too. A range of cats.
At one point a new cat entered the scene. Amou or Amy. My wife’s father proudly provided the name of their new female cat.
My wife knew better. At some point, tiring of mistaken identity, inverted the cat and presented it’s under carriage;
“Dad this cat has a penis. And balls” 
Thereafter Amy became the french male version of it’s name.
Another cat wouldn’t leave my wife’s mother alone. 
The cat loved her, was obsessed with her. Over the years the cat had grown old.
One night after a particularly long day all my wife’s mother wanted to do was sit down and relax.
As she settled gratefully into the couch the cat was nowhere to be seen.
The very moment she sat down though it was as if a crypt door had opened. The cat appeared.
Elderly and emaciated with age. A bag of bones.
Of course bag of bones made a bee line immediately to the couch and jumped up onto her lap. With great difficulty.
Exasperated after the long day, my wife’s mother had profound advice for the cat;
“Come now my darling, go into the the light now. Jesus is calling.”
“No! She didn’t say that”
Jessie’s World
Jessie really grew in the new house, in size and personality. She’s a really fun, nutty dog befitting our nutty family. She’s an awesome family hound. A huge character in her own right.
She loves her walks now. Down to one a day. She was getting three as a high energy dog. Until we saw an article explaining how a dog can become too fit with too many daily walks.
She made friends with all of the neighborhood dogs and now barks at them incessantly when they dare walk past the house.
She has her own couch. Black leather. We’ve given up trying to get her off it. 
It’s against the main lounge window. It’s her personal launching pad. A dog or person walks by. Launch phase initiated..
Jessie loves the beach and loves to run free in general. She’s a speed demon.
It’s the Collie within her and probably the greyhound percentage as well.
Chilling with Sissy
Jessie went through a phase as a doggy bed product tester.
Bed number one was ripped up in 48 hours.
Her professional opinion – not bad.
Bed number two became a large plastic receptacle thing. 
Jessie ran away from it whenever it got within five meters.
Her professional opinion – send it back with immediate effect.
Bed number three was ultra comfy luxury. It was presented to her late one afternoon.
It was ripped up in less than 12 hours. It never lasted the night.
Her professional opinion – was that a joke?
Bed number four became a large piece of indestructible doggy carpet. 
Her professional opinion – she doesn’t have one anymore. We fired her from her position with immediate effect.
Before bedtime she eats peanut butter as her goodnight snack pressed into a Kong bone.
It’s a pretty good life.
Dog Days
Jessie gets under my wife’s feet at supper time and at time’s during the day.
Mostly in the kitchen.
She can’t help it. She loves family company.
When it happens my wife says, “Jessie my lovie”
Then my daughter says, “Mommy?”
“Yes baby..”
“I feel like when you say my don’t really mean it right then.”
We laugh.
We laugh with Jessie all the time. She’s a mad dog.
Jessie’s sheds. Everywhere.
A single black hair will appear in random places. Magically.
We’ve taken to calling the experience simply – Jessie hair.
Jessie hair in the butter.
Jessie hair in the salad.
It’s been taken to the extreme;
A new car rolls off the factory production line. What’s there. Jessie hair.
Unwrapping a vacuum sealed present at Christmas time. What’s there. Jessie hair.
The birth of a new born baby. Whats there. Jessie hair.
Doc Brown takes the Delorean into the future. What does he find. Jessie hair.
It transcends logic. 
Support Dog
Jessie picks up on our energy if she detects any hint of stress.
Even when we are just speaking about slightly more serious topics.
She becomes support dog. Coming to us and standing up on her hind legs.
She’s saying support dog is here.
Jessie also needs comforting too though.
She’s a big fan of sniffing other dogs you know what.
She’s an even bigger fan of sniffing our you know what.
Whether it be a quick change into a pair of jeans, shorts, sleep attire, it doesn’t matter.
She’s always on duty with that nose.
At certain times she ‘ll go full vertical. A hungry great white torpedoing from the depths. At speed.
It leaves you dazed and confused.
Her form of family security.
Reading some of my blogs you may wonder, what does all this have to do with starting an online business and online marketing?
Nothing. And Everything.
The marketing side is only a component of being a digital business owner.
Creating the content precedes the marketing.
And the content doesn’t always have to be along the lines of..5 reasons to start working online now.
It has creative variety to it. That’s the beauty of it. It can be whatever you would like it to be.
Content can educate, entertain, empower. 
Everyone has a voice and ways of expressing it.
In the traditional corporate world that expression often gets stifled or removed completely in the act of profit making.
Unless that company is different and really values their employees.
Doing something creative means following your outlook, philosophy and way of life. And being at peace with it.
After all it is your life.