RECENTLY Sáoirse, my Irish Water Spaniel, invited a bunch of her brown curly friends for an autumn mingle in the beautiful Northaw Great Wood near Potters Bar.
This ancient Irish breed of dogs, made famous by Edith Somerville in her Irish RM stories, is now sadly on the endangered breed list so it was very rare to come across 10 of them running around together in the same place.
Many of the owners and their dogs came from some distance away, from places like Chichester or Portsmouth, to have the opportunity to meet up and share a love of the breed.
It is alarming that in 2019 only 48 Irish Water Spaniel puppies were born in the UK and only 250 in the rest of the world and it would be a tragedy if these Irish dogs so full of character went into further decline.
After the woods, where the dogs had a good splash in the stream and mud (there is no lake in the wood where they could swim), the dogs and their owners were all welcomed at the Coach & Horses Pub in Newgate Street, where the owners enjoyed a delicious Thai Cuisine lunch whilst the well-behaved dogs lay drooling on the floor under the tables.
Other walkers in the woods were astonished to come across this posse of funny looking dogs and Irish Post readers might have suggestions for a collective noun for such a group.
A Shenanigan of Water Spaniels was one suggestion but any other ideas would be appreciated.