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Kiss a blarney stone? Why not a manatee?

Home/About Pat, Inspirational/Kiss a blarney stone? Why not a manatee?

Kiss a blarney stone? Why not a manatee?

If you will indulge me, I would like to delay discussion about my encouraging visit with my myeloma specialist, Dr. Alsina, until tomorrow so I can share some of the fun family pictures from our local St. Patrick’s Day celebration.  Myeloma can wait one day, right?

St Pats Day 2013_657It was a  beautiful, partly cloudy day here on Florida’s Gulf coast.  Pattie and I live an hour or so north of Tampa–just where the congestion and commercial feel starts to fade away.  But today we headed even farther north to the beautiful gulf-side community of Crystal River, where a local Irish pub was hosting a charity event for the county animal shelter.  By the way, did you know Pattie’s maiden name is Doyle?  I think the sweatshirt gives it away…

St Pats Day 2013_661What better way to start St. Pat’s than watching a festive parade of dogs.  Dogs?  You bet!  As many as 100 canines and owners took part in the march through downtown.

The parade route was only one half mile.  Our Irish dog, Finnegan, didn’t get a chance to register in time to walk, so we were only spectators of the colorful event.

St Pats Day 2013_660

It was a fun morning.  We met some very warm, open folks with wonderful canine companions.

The parade ended at Crystal River’s Irish Pub.  Remember the song, “Who Let the Dogs Out?”  Well, on St. Pat’s day, these innovative proprietors lets the dogs in!

The smell of green eggs, ham and beer were everywhere, making it very difficult for Finnegan to concentrate.  And although he can be a bit shy and standoffish with other dogs, he was unusually cordial this day.  Must have felt the Irish vibe!  Or maybe he just likes to party!


Here’s a shot a kind passerby took of us in front of the Irish Pub:

St Pats Day 2013_670

Oops.  Looking back I can see I didn’t include enough shots of our Irish son.  But not to worry; Finnegan has his own blog!  If you go to, you can see a plethora of images of our rising star.  Why a rising star?  Because Finnegan’s nickname any other day of the year is Island Dog.  He’s a real beach-combing hound!

Here’s a link to more photos and play-by-play of our St. Patrick’s Day activities that Island Dog and I posted on his site last night:


Happy St. Patrick’s Day From Crystal River!

The three of us headed down to the waterfront for a short walk, returning exhausted and ready for the ride home.  But not so fast!  We had one more stop to make.

Crystal River is known as the home of the manatees.  Hundreds of these gentle giants warm themselves in the shallow rivers and inlets that run along the coast.  Drive four or five miles south and you will pass through Homosassa Springs.  As often happens, Homosassa and neighboring Crystal River don’t agree on which one should be able to claim the official title, “Home of the Manatees.”

So not to be outdone, Homosassa erected one of the world’s largest manatees in front of the Homosassa Springs State Wildlife Center.  What makes all of this fun is the way the staff decorates their manatee for each holiday.  I don’t–I mean Finnegan doesn’t–blog very often.  But if you scroll-back through a number of his posts, you will quickly see pictures of the giant Homosassa manatee, decked-out for each and every major holiday.  St. Patrick’s Day must be considered a biggie, because today the ‘tee was dressed in green.

You’ve probably heard that kissing the blarney stone in Ireland is good luck.  Well our (Irish) Island Dog begs to differ.  Finnegan believes kissing a manatee is even better luck!

St Pats Day 2013_682

That’s a lot of weight for a gimpy guy like me to lift!  But Pattie helped me lift him up, then stepped-back to get the shot.  Seemed like a good idea at the time.  The things we do for our zany, furry friends!  Hope you had a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day!

Feel good and keep smiling!  Pat