Representing The Irish Therapy Dogs at Camphire International Horse Trials.

For those of you who don’t know allready myself and my fantastic Jack Russels Trixie (9) and Penny (4) are volunteers with The Irish Therapy Dogs. I help out with interviews in the Cork Area and proudly sit on the Board of Directors of this amazing charity.

* Trixie makes friends and Penny poses !*

Irish Therapy Dogs’ Mission is to provide physical, therapeutic and educational benefit to people, young and old, fit and frail, alert and impaired, in Hospitals, Nursing Homes, Day Care Centres, Schools and other places where people may be restricted from having pets and where the presence of dogs and their owners, will add comfort and support.

Last Sunday as part of Camphire International Horse Trials Gain Animal Feeds organised a fantastic dog show kindly donating the proceeds to The Irish Therapy Dogs. To show our appreciation our chairman Brían 0′ Sullivan judged the classes (with the exception of the class for Irish Therapy Dogs) and myself and fellow volunteers helped out with the show along with meeting the crowds and gaining awareness on the day.

It’s not uncommon for me to have a mini “plus one” at awareness days as at the best I times I find it difficult to get childminders/babysitters still it’s rare the whole familia head out to awareness days but when I looked up the events facebook page to seek directions I delighted to see that this was a fun filled day out for all the family so we packed the car up and headed off !


In times gone by I was no stranger to events as I worked with horses from a young age and groomed for a trainer/Eventer in my late teens but despite my history and love for horses I had only once a few years back brough the smalls to an equestrian event. Subconsciously I always chose days out to interest everyone else so we’ve been to multiple car shows and kiddie events , unfortunately this time as my day was mostly spent volunteering I didn’t get to see the equine action but I really gave me a taste for events again and brought me back to the good old days watching the cross country at Blarney Horse Trials.

It was clear from the moment we arrived that this was going to be a fun day out for the smalls and the first thing they spotted was the bouncy castle ! I swear they have a 6th sense for those shaggin things !!!!!! I now know it’s self destruction to say no or try put off the bouncing as they will whinge till they get on it and if Left too late they will be tired and inevitably injure themselves in a life threatening manner .. You know speed burns, toe stubbing , tongue biting and the like !!!!

So all that considered I advised Mr.Mmmm to just go with the flow with them and that he did… the amazing aromas coming from the chipper swayed them from the bouncy castle and funnily enough after they ate and had a wander around they wanted to come back to me and watch the dog show so that they did and gave me a hand giving out treats to all who entered.

Now this was a proud day for J and Penny as it was their first dog show ! They entered the therapy dogs class so that the judge would be unbiased and should we be claiming a rosette it would be on our own merit and I’m glad to say they came third ! It really was cute to hear him tell penny how proud he was of her and discuss her prizes with her !

After my stewarding tasks were over so too was the equine action so I just wandered over to see what I missed during the day ! Of coarse the bar in full swing was the first thing I noticed ! But aside from that I saw amazing bubbles coming from the kids area so I went to investigate.

I was very impressed with the kids area, aside from the bouncy castle which they enjoyed a good bounce on there was also face painting and carnival games and these were all reasonably priced. There was also a chill out zone an area for kids to relax on bean bags and a hammock company provided a hammock area which was a huge hit , this and the bubbles display (which had the kids fascinated) was all free. The bubble artists had for all the world what looked like a washing line with loops in it and would dip it in the bubbles , raise it and send giant bubbles floating through the grounds it was super !

At this point the gruesome two some were getting tired to we indulged in smoothies and my fave chocolate marshmallows and strawberries ! I then had a wander at the trade stands before heading back to the car to head for home. As to be expected there was mainly equestrian stalls with a few doggies stands too with just one general stall but to be honest it was enough.


I enjoyed my day volunteering and the family really enjoyed theirs but one things for sure I’ll be coming back next year off duty to enjoy all Camphire International Horse Trials has to offer and would highly recommend anyone to go along too .

Xoxo Laura.

If you wish to find out more about the Irish Therapy Dogs or about how you can apply to volunteer go to or contact me at




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