A slightly alarming encounter today on sunny Sandymount beach. Inevitably the sand was full of dogs and their owners. Now I’m far from a dog lover but I have to say that I’ve never had a problem with them in Ireland.

So there I was, plodding sweatily along southwards. A greyhound/whippet type raced in my general direction – not directly towards me in any sort of dog attack. Even I know that a whippet can tell a runner from a stuffed rabbit. But then the stupid mutt swerved across me and bash! Into my left knee. It was some collision and it felt like I’d done its nose some real damage. And off it flew down the beach, howling in fright or pain or both. Then mercifully it stopped and turned around, so I guess that maybe it wasn’t as bad as I feared.

Then along came the woman who admitted to being the owner. I was obviously the baddy in all this. I was either going to have a go at her for not having control of her dog, or else she thought I’d kicked the thing. (I’ve often been tempted but would never actually do it). However I was only concerned with the dog, and I suggested a vet might be required. Not seeming too concerned it has to be said, she coolly went off to examine the dog.

There was no sign of either a few minutes later as I headed home. I hope the dog was OK.