Rua – Mayo Nose of Tralee 2023

Meet your Mayo celebrity – the 2023 Nose of Mayo, Rua

Name: My name is Rua and Mum says I have to answer these questions myself!

County: Mayo Nose

Age: I am 5 years old

Breed: I am a red fox Labrador

Special Skill: I play with my kong stix and can throw them high up in the air and catch them coming down. I do this several times and then put them at Mum’s feet to throw them for me, so I can retrieve. I can carry up to three toys in my mouth at one time. I am also an excellent swimmer and adore the water. I can climb half way up a tree.

Favourite Food: I love chicken. It is my favourite thing to eat. But I also like bacon and cabbage and who can resist a piece of steak. Mum makes me eat kibble (not my favourite) as she says it is good for me.

Favourite Toy: I love my kong stix and they come in rings now too. I always have one on my walks.

Favourite Place to Sleep: I love to snuggle up in bed with Mum and Dad. I have three beds of my own, one of which is in Mum’s office so I can superviser her while she works from home. I love sleeping up against Mum’s back at night. I can keep her and Dad safe from the monsters at night.

Favourite Activity: I love my walkies especially if it includes my pals Patch, Striker, Hanley, Coco and any new friends I make. I love going in the car with Mum and Dad and I love the lake for a swim. Sometimes I am allowed into restaurants and that is nice because I get loads of attention.

Favourite Place To Go For A Walk/Hangout: I love walking in the fields, and in the woods in Cong near Ashford. I meet lots of doggies there and it has great scents for me to follow. I get to do a lot of butt sniffing with other doggies and we have a lovely chat. Butt sniffing gives us so much information about each other.

Most Mischievous Thing You Have Ever Done? I love to give the postman a hard time. I have to protect Mum and Dad from the things he delivers in letters and parcels. I try to stop him from putting things through our door. He’s afraid of me so I have fun making him think I am going to eat him. Sometimes I steal the cat’s food when Mum is not looking. I have to show them they are not the boss. I accidentally caused Mum to break her wrist on holidays, but she has forgiven me.

How Did You Come Into Your Owners Life? Mum and Dad lost their black Labrador in 2018. He was a very special dog and Mum wanted another Labrador. She says Labrador rescues are very hard to find, so she had to look at breeders. She found a good breeder in Ballymoy Labradors in Ballina, where my birth Mum Bella lives. I was one of a litter of 8, and they fell in love with me and my birth Mum. When they met my birth Mum she was playful and gentle so they decided I would be like her and took me home. I am Irish kennel club registered, so Mum knew my breeder was reputable.

What Makes You The Most Pawtastic Pet Ever? I give the best kisses and cuddles a hundred times a day. I love to snuggle up and get comfortable. I make Mum walk even when she’s feeling lazy and that is good for her. Mum can take me anywhere and I am good. We stay in lots of dog friendly hotels. I have been to Portugal, UK and Scotland with Mum and Dad and have been well behaved everywhere I go. I make friends in every place we stay. I make sure Mum sits at her desk and works and if she needs a little break I go to her for a nuzzle. Sometimes I get my face in her Teams calls and everyone admires me.

Why Did You Decide To Enter The Nose Of Tralee? Mum says I have a condition called handsomeitis and my face makes people smile. I like to bring joy to everyone and Mum says we should give it a go. I like the attention from people and I love a fuss being made over me. I thought we could have some fun with it and get the family, friends and neighbours involved.

How Did You Prepare For The Contest And Get Votes? I got groomed and brushed and practiced my best smile. We took loads of pictures so that we could find my best side. We put my entry up on Facebook, Linkedin, WhatsApp, on the local papers, local radio station and I even got to go on Ireland AM.

What Did You Enjoy Most About The Nose Of Tralee? I met the former Rose of Tralee Maria Walsh MEP. She was lovely. I got on the local paper. Everyone talked to me and asked about the competition. People said I was handsome and I got lots of welcome attention. I was so proud that my voting team came from all over the world, including New Zealand, Canada, USA, France, Portugal, Ireland, England, Switzerland, Holland, Scotland and so many more places. I felt the love!

What Advice Would You Give To The Next Nose Of Your County? Look handsome, smile a lot. Get your person to promote you like mad and if people aren’t voting for you give them the sad puppy eyes, even if you aren’t a dog. I can teach you how to do it. Give lots of licks and cuddles as bribes for votes. Make sure photos are of your best side and have a ball while competing. Make sure it is fun! Encourage donations to local animal rescues so that they can benefit from your fame.

How Are You Handling Your New-Found Fame? Oh I love the attention. So many people recognise me and I get to tail wag lots and show off my handsomeness.

If You Could Be Any Super Hero Who Would You Be? I would be Scooby Doo as I’m brave as long as I am behind someone who can protect me.

Where Can Your Fans Follow You Online? I have my own Facebook page. It is called “Rua’s page” where I tell my stories. Sadly Mum doesn’t let me near her computer as often as I would like to.

What does it mean to you to be the Winner Up/Runner Up of the Nose of Tralee?

“Dogs do speak, but only to those who know how to listen.” – Orhan Pamuk

Anybody who doesn’t know what soap tastes like never washed a dog.” – Franklin P. Jones

“It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.” – Leonardo Da Vinci

“May you live all the days of your life.” – Jonathan Swift