5 Months

5 Months

Just as the title suggests, today marks the day that I left Ireland and traveled to the USA 5 short months ago. I had an idea that life here would be better than back home, for starters I would be sharing it with the love of my life and my then wife to be. 5 months later and we are over 3 months married and having fun together.

So today’s post will be a little recap on the first five months of my life here in the USA. It has been good but has taken a fair bit of readjusting and even though there are some similarities between Ireland and the USA, it’s quite obvious we are 2 distinct cultures. When people here say customer service, about 90% of the time they mean good service because that’s what is expected and received. Now only if Ireland could get that memo and even though you work in a service industry, there is no need to be a grumpy fecker. If you are one of those people that hate your job, hate people coming into your shop or business, well then leave the job rather than take it out on the customer. It wouldn’t be tolerated over here by customers for a minute.

Onto driving, at first that scared the hell out of me. Driving my first day part of the way from Orlando to Atlanta was probably the least confident I was in a car since my very first lesson back in 1990. In 5 short months it has got better, even though I do still use GPS and ask Leanne to just confirm I am in the right lane.

I have had interesting conversations with people as a lot of people just know Ireland from movies or photos or visiting as a tourist and not seeing the ‘real’ Ireland. I do my best to tell them about the real Ireland, like how it’s ok for us to hate U2 and to slate them, but not for them to slate them. They are ours so even though we slate them at home, we will defend them across the globe. It’s an Irish thing. One thing I have noted and maybe Guinness should make a note of this too, bar staff cannot pull a pint of Guinness. I have been served some nice tasting Guinness, but it is basically just poured like a beer. Please bar staff, stop it or join those grumpy feckers in a new career. Some of the enjoyment in a Guinness is waiting and watching it settle before it’s topped off.

Now food, wow how much choice do people want. You can have a simple burger done about 100 different ways in 1000’s of places. And then what is on the menu is changed by people saying they want a particular burger but with something either added or taken out. If you are lover of salads, well then the USA is the place for you. I am not a salad eater for main meal, it belongs between two slices of bread in a sandwich as far as I am concerned, but some of the salads served look fantastic and come with foods I never heard off.

And finally onto family and friends. I done a few posts the other day about family and the pets as well as Robert, my son. I will reiterate that now, I am a lucky guy because my family and my newly extended family have been wonderful in their support for my move here and helping me settle in. My friends back in Ireland send me messages via Facebook, Viber and WhatsApp, and every single message is greatly appreciated.

This is probably the only post that doesn’t have any pictures except for the header photo. That is a deliberate choice as I wanted the words I am writing to stand on their own and to share my thanks to everyone who has been part of this journey so far. There is lots more to come so keep in touch and drop me a message anytime.

To wrap up it wouldn’t right of me not to mention the one person who helped to make my journey here possible, my darling wife, Leanne. We met in 2001, waited 13 years before having a conversation about our future together and here we are now, a happily newly wed couple. To Leanne I say Thank you for starting that conversation, thank you for the last 5 months and thank you for making me so happy.

Gallery of Lassie, Bozley and a couple of Mannie

Gallery of Lassie, Bozley and a couple of Mannie

Today’s post is just a gallery of images of lassie as a pup, her time in Ireland, her move to the USA, meeting and being with Bozley. Images of Bozley from Feb 2015 and recently and a couple of images of Mannie who passed away last year.

And now it’s Bozleys turn

Well so far I have focused on family, both here and in Ireland, my son and Lassie. So now it’s time to introduce Bozley, my wife Leanne’s Schnoodle, a cross between a Schnauzer and a poodle. He is 6 years old so a year older than Lassie and the male dog in the house.

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Bozley

Leanne rescued Bozley nearly 5 years ago and he immediately stole her heart and a place in her home. Of course there was a cat here already so Bozley had a bit of change to under go. So did Mannie the Cat. Unfortunately Mannie passed away just after my visit to Atlanta in 2015 and it left Leanne heartbroken. But we are back to a 2 pet family now with Bozley and Lassie.

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Bozley and Lassie enjoy each other's company

Lassie has long legs and Bozley has little short legs so walks with them can be interesting. Bozley is a typical small dog, he thinks he is a huge dog and barks at every other dog but always backs away if they bark back. We go on long walks but I let Lassie off her leash so she can get a run and Bozley walks nicely beside me.

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Times are going to be a bit difficult for Bozley soon as he has to have one of his back legs amputated. It is infected with a mass which acts like a cancer and to give him the best chance of a full life we made the difficult decision to go ahead with the operation next week. He already had one operation to remove a mass from the leg and the poor guy had to wear a cone for 2 weeks but he still went on his walks with Lassie.

Bozley has become as important as Lassie to me and I would be heartbroken if anything happened to either of them. Bozley loves to lie right at the top of the bed as you go to sleep and there are times when I have both dogs on the couch beside me. I wouldn’t change it or have it any other way.

Bringing my dog to America

Bringing my dog to America

Continuing the trend of posts about family it wouldn’t be right of me not to include Lassie, my 5 year old Border Collie. I first met Lassie when she was born but it was 6 weeks later when Robert was with me that he picked the same dog from the bunch amd gave her the name Lassie. She was born in Co Mayo, on the west coast of Ireland and made the journey back to Dublin with me just before Christmas 2010 in a small box that I had till I left Ireland.

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I got Lassie just after I retired from the Defence Forces and she became my constant companion as I went to college and started work in the airport. My last pet was actually my sisters dog so Lassie was the first pet I owned myself. For the next 4 and a bit years long walks down the park were a daily part of my routine. I met some wonderful people while walking in the park and Lassie met some great doggie pals. I am still in touch with them and they regularly ask how Lassie is doing.

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One of Lassies best pals is a little terrier called Pippa, they were neighbors and went everywhere together. Luckily when I was working shift my neighbour would bring Lassie and Pippa to the park and let them have a run around. It is the one thing Lassie misses, being able to get off her leash and run with her pals. But she does have a new pal now, her adopted brother, Bozley. Ever since we arrived in America Lassie and Bozley have got on great. Of course getting a dog to the USA isn’t just a case of arriving at the airport, like everything else it took advance planning. I started the planning in August for a November flight, getting Lassie rabies shots, blood tests, buying a crate and booking place on flight.

Lassie always either slept on the bed or on the floor so the crate was just a piece of furniture until the day of the flight. Unfortunately dogs travel cargo so I had to let Lassie go with the airline early. In fairness Aer Lingus were superb, even coming up to me on the plane before take off to let me know Lassie was on board and looking good. With the stress of me emigrating it was nice of the airline to do that for me.

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I love my dogs, it’s not just Lassie but Bozley as well now. We go on walks everyday and generally have fun. The 2 dogs follow me everywhere, and I mean everywhere! I wouldn’t have it any other way as they are both part of the family, are loved by us both and well looked after. Next week will be a challenge for Bozley as he goes in for an operation to have his leg removed but with Lassie there to help him and our love he will be in good hands.

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I make no apologies but I am a dog person and there were times when things didn’t look so good that Lassie would come over, just lie beside me, rest her head on my leg and look up at me and then I would know everything was going to be ok.

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Have a great weekend folks and have fun. It’s time for me to go and enjoy some time with my wife and dogs. I will be back on Monday with an update on how my return to playing football after nearly 20 years away from playing.