Getting a dog has made TV and radio host Bláthnaid Treacy's house into a home, she tells Andrea Byrne.

'Love at first sight’ is how Bláthnaid Treacy describes meeting Mabel, the Dachshund-cross puppy who stole the hearts of the TV and radio host and her husband, Charlie.

Bláthnaid had long been considering getting a dog, but the timing just wasn’t right. However, in December 2020, Bláthnaid and Charlie became homeowners, having bought the house they had been renting in Stoneybatter.

"I got in touch with a few different adoption places, but the DSPCA were the first to get back to me. We explained that we lived in a small house and that we didn’t have much of a garden. I told them that I go walking for at least an hour everyday, up in the Phoenix Park. They got back in touch and said that they had a litter of puppies ready to go in a couple of weeks, a Dachshund/Jack Russell mix. We immediately said yes."

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If you follow Bláthnaid on social media, you'll know that Mable, who is now nine months old, provides a lot of quality content. In a recent Instagram post, the small brown fur ball can be seen observing rather than partaking in a sea swim.

"A total diva," Bláthnaid laughs. "So sassy and so stubborn. I’ve met other Dachshund owners in the park and apparently, they don’t like to go out in the rain because they are too precious. Also, if we’re watching TV, and she wants to play, she gets in a strop, goes up the stairs, sticks her head through the railings, and starts whining and crying."

"She will stare at you with watery eyes. She has Charlie and I wrapped around her finger. When she is tired, she won’t just go to bed, she expects you to tuck her in. Honestly, it sounds like she is a child, but we love her so much," Bláthnaid enthuses, admitting that such is Mabel’s popularity, that they're never short of dog-sitters.

"If Charlie and I are busy, we have a few friends who will take her for a walk. She is obsessed with them, particularly the men. Total flirt. So funny. Up on them, licks their faces. It’s funny how she responds to different people."

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Devoted doggie-parents, Bláthnaid and Charlie's summer staycation has been largely dictated by their four-legged friend’s presence. "Lots of hotels don’t take dogs, lots of Airbnbs don’t take pets. So we’re going camping," Bláthnaid laughs.

Occasional strops and increased housework aside (Mabel had, just before our phone chat, been sick on some freshly changed bed sheets), Mabel's arrival has been an entirely positive experience, especially during lockdown.

"January is such a difficult month for so many different reasons, and it was probably the worst January that we have ever had, just dark and long. But thank God, Mabel was there to keep us on our toes. We put the fire on in the evenings, snuggled up with her and it was just a little safe haven in the middle of this horrific storm that was going on around us.

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Also, one of the biggest things that I got from getting Mabel was seeing Charlie with her, and both of us loving something together. So, I feel like she has brought us closer together in a certain way, as well. She makes us feel like a little family: we bought the house, we have the little dog, we are getting the place done up now, so it kind of feels that we are moving on into the next phase of our life, which is really lovely."