As the massive storm waves once again pounded the seawall at the shore of Blackrock on Sunday week last, you could be forgiven for thinking that it was the beginning of some relentless apocolypse.
It seemed as if the sea was going to rear up and claim the seaside village for itself, swallowing it into its vast depths, like a Louth version of Atlantis.
Yet for one plucky dog, the sea held no fear.
Many of the people gathering in Blackrock that day may have seen him. Marching up and down the promenade, Ginger, a little red dog, refused to be bowed by the monstrous waters that engulfed the main road.
Instead of cowering, Ginger barked in delight at the sea. In fact brave little Ginger seeemed to delight at the ferocity of the waves, as if with each new wave his spirits would soar higher.
And of course his bravery was infectious.
For the many families out watching the storm, Ginger’s barking and high spirits picked up the mood of the day, giving license to the crowds to also find entertainment in the face of the onslaught.
Maybe Ginger’s bravery was because he has faced far greater threats in his short life. Ginger is a rescue dog, and he had beaten the odds already, including avoiding the dreaded needle.
“We got Ginger from Dundalk pound seven years ago,” says owner Timmy O’Kane, from Mount Pleasant in Dundalk. “We couldn’t be happier with him.
“He just loves being outside I think. He was barking because he was excited by the waves coming in. He loves being around people.
“When we first got him he was quite a frightened little dog. When I got the brush out he would go and cower in the corner, which makes me think that his first owner may have given him a belt of the brush.”
Timmy spoke of how he found out what breed Ginger was.
“I was at a dog show in Kilarney. Ginger and I arrived at the show in the van and I left Ginger in the van. I was looking around when I saw a man who had what looked like Ginger on a lead.
“I was following this man to ask him what he was doing with my dog and wondering how Ginger got out of the van. I followed him into a tent and there saw a crowd of six or seven people, all with dogs that looked just like Ginger.
“Apparently he is a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, or Toller for short.
“They are dogs that are used to scare out ducks to be shot and then retrive them.
“Everyone loves the dog, all the family.
“I would say to anyone who is thinking of getting a dog to go to their local pound. It costs about €60 but you get his injections, his license and microchipped all for that price.
“Everwhere we go everyone just loves him and says what a good looking dog he is.”
So for Ginger, who has batttled the odds and come out the other side, what fear would a few waves hold?