While wandering around Three Castle Head in Ireland this summer, we were venturing among the foggy cliffs when we saw a sudden movement in the rocks.
A border collie had crouched down, with a stick in front of her, and was eagerly awaiting our presence and potential to play fetch with her.
We weren’t able to get much closer, because a young family appeared shortly thereafter, and the kids were engaged in playing with her, to her intense delight. One of the many enjoyable things from our European summer was how often we ran into delightful free-range dogs like this collie.
While in Ireland, we got to visit the spectacular Cliffs of Moher in County Clare.
After rounding a bend and looking at the watchtower, we were suddenly approached by this spunky, sprightly little shepherd mix.
She came running up to us eagerly and had a fragment of a tennis ball in her mouth. We couldn’t resist playing with her for a few minutes.
I’m not sure who her person was; I didn’t see anyone around who seemed to be claiming her. She had a collar on, however, so she clearly belonged somewhere.
But she made us laugh and reminded us so much of Eden. Because this is exactly what Eden would be doing if she were a free-range Irish dog: Stalking around a busy tourist spot, hoping that someone, anyone, would stop to play with her.
I love that personality trait so much in dogs: the endless playfulness and energy. Even if it can drive you crazy sometimes, it is so charming to be near an animal who is so full of drive and joy.