Tyson: The K9 Concierge serving guests at Rosleague Manor

The Rosleague Manor near the small village of Letterfrack, Ireland is home to Tyson, the K9 Concierge.

Many people are kind enough to adopt a lost or abandoned dog, but as you will read, this story is about a K9 who adopted a family, along with all of their guests.

As I was driving down Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way, near Letterfrack, I came upon my accommodations for the evening at the Rosleague Manor, an elegant estate situated on 30 secluded acres. Perched on a hill, Rosleague rests on coastal shores overlooking Balinakill Bay. As I approached the manor, the road narrowed into a single lane, curving along a rocky bluff within a dense canopy of trees and flora. It almost felt like entering a tunnel…into a fairytale. The road was wet from the recent rain and a narrow patch of grass grew in the middle where the treads of tires left its growth unencumbered. 

Rosleague Manor by Mike Shubic of MikesRoadTrip.com

After making one last bend in the road, I could see through the opening at the other end of the canopy. The Rosleague Manor, along with Tyson, the K9 Concierge, patiently waited for my arrival and exit from the vehicle.

After a long day of travel, my only sights were set on getting checked-in and getting a bit of rest before dinner. While I noticed Tyson and another dog milling around, I didn’t really take special notice until an hour or so later.

Just as I finished getting my luggage to my room, the skies opened up and it started raining again. After a short rest, I soon saw rays of sun crack through the dark sky. With camera in tow, and weather improving, I began to explore the Rosleague Manor property. 

Tyson the K9 concierge by Mike Shubic of MikesRoadTrip.com

I noticed a woman, who appeared to be a guest, playing with the two dogs I saw earlier. I presumed that perhaps the dogs were hers; given how attentive and well-behaved they seemed around her. As I strolled back toward the front of the manor, the guest must have retreated back inside. I was walking toward a trail I was going to explore, when out of nowhere, Tyson appeared. He came up to me with a stick in his mouth. A playful exchange ensued as I tried to get the stick out of his mouth to throw for him. 

I ended up chasing Tyson around the yard a bit before giving up and continuing on my stroll. Tyson came up to my side and walked with me up a hill and down a meandering path. While I’ve never owned a dog, I’ve been around plenty of them. There seemed to be something mystical about this K9. I had a real sense that this dog was by no means ordinary. It was nothing particularly tangible, but rather I was having an incredible bond with a dog to whom I had not even been formally introduced!

Tyson would run ahead of me on the path and wait. If I didn’t reach him soon enough, he would came back for me. As we were developing this bond with one another, I found that I did not want to part ways. This exchange made me understand the phrase “Man’s best friend.” 

I eventually made my way back to the manor where I ran into Mark Foyle, owner of Rosleague. We were chatting a bit when I mentioned something about the black dog outside. “Oh, that’s Tyson…and that’s an interesting story.” He said.Tyson the K9 concierge on a path

The Irish are wonderful storytellers. so I sat back and listened to Mark tell me this story about Tyson, the K9 Concierge as he has affectionately become known. 

MarkI’ve lost count of all the various Tyson tales guests have shared over the past couple of years. One I often recount was the couple whose wife was afraid of dogs, but the husband loved them. As Tyson led them to a parking spot and then approached the car (without any instruction), he backed straight away from the wife and went around to the husband for a pet & fetch.

Rosleague Manor Hotel key by Mike Shubic of MikesRoadTrip.com

Apparently Tyson also understands English quite well, which is most helpful in his current role of Chief Concierge & Doorman. All guests have to say is “Where is the orchard, vegetable patch, or shore” and Tyson will lead guests straight there.

Mark did admit to me that the staff has become a bit envious at all the attention Tyson receives, because they too work very hard. Tyson’s customer service prowess is further illustrated by reading the comments on social media and travel review sites like Tripadvisor. 

Mike: So, where did Tyson come from? How did he become a part of the family?

Mark: We actually knew/know Tyson’s previous owner quite well, he lives just a few hundred yards behind the Rosleague Manor. We actually christened Tyson ‘Go Home’ initially; because he kept arriving at the manor on days we hosted weddings. Folks would be milling around the lawn for photos and Tyson didn’t want to be left out. I would be frantically running around the lawn shouting ‘Go Home!’ much to the amusement of our team and guests alike.

Over about an 18-month period, Tyson’s visits became more frequent and prolonged. His former owner, Niall, would call down to collect him. During one of these collections, I mentioned to Niall that if he ever got tired of looking for Tyson, we’d be more than happy to keep him permanently. As you can imagine, this was an incredibly tricky and sensitive thing to say and request of a dog owner. Of course, Niall declined, as he too loved Tyson.

Even though Tyson was not our dog, we did care for him, often feeding and letting him sleep in our shed on those long, cold Ireland nights. Over a year after Niall declined my offer to care for Tyson, the conversation was revisited.  

I was painting one of the bathrooms during the off-season. Just as I locked up for the evening, Niall pulled up in his Van looking for Tyson. When we called out, he appeared down beside the kitchen door.

In a scene familiar to anyone who’s seen the movie, “As Good as It Gets”, where Greg Kinnear’s beloved Pooch ends up falling for Grumpy old Jack Nicholson, Niall calls Tyson to his van. Tyson ambles over cautiously, but joins me on the front steps of the Manor, rather than going over to Niall.

Tyson the K9 Tyson the K9 concierge with a stick

Mike: Did you have some meat in your pocket?

Mark: No! {chuckling}
I frantically tried to shoo Tyson away as Niall called him again and again. Tyson eventually acquiesced and went with Niall.

As Niall recalled it, he locked Tyson up for three days to try and prevent his wandering ways. He even had Tyson snipped. On the third night, Niall laid down beside Tyson, stroking his head, choking back some emotion and said out loud… “Tyson, would you like to be let go to live at the Rosleague Manor?”

According the Niall, Tyson basically levitated off the floor and was out the door in an instant. Gone!

Niall said to himself that if Tyson did not return a single time over the next week, that he would come over and talk to me about the ownership transfer details.

Niall was a good owner and really loved Tyson. He shed more than one tear on the handover day. 

So, that is the story of how Tyson became part of the family.

Mike: That is such an amazing story of how you acquired Tyson. Can you share any personal interaction or special moments that you and Tyson have shared since he has officially become part of the family?

Mark: Well, the most recent that comes to mind was just a few weeks ago. I had to put down my beautiful, handsome, 14-year old Golden Labrador named Ruben. I was in pieces. I got back to the house that night, visibly upset, and lay down on the sofa.

Tyson climbed up on top of me, as he often does when he senses I’m in the mood for company. As I was lying down, he laid on my stomach/chest and placed his paws on my shoulders and proceeded to nuzzle and lick my face.

After a moment or two, I said ‘Okay, Tyson, DOWN’—and all he did was tighten his grip. This action was repeated a couple of times until my wife came into the room to ask, “What’s going on?”

“He won’t let me up because he knows today, of all days, how badly I need a hug!”

That’s what it means to be ‘people smart.’ Dogs who’ve been well looked after and properly trained, will always obey and defer to your instructions. Tyson, however, hears them, but in some well-chosen cases, goes against his instinct/training and decides you or a customer is wrong and he knows what is best.

Tyson Path B&W

Tyson just wants to hug the world!

If you’ve ever had a similar K9 experience, or have ever stayed at the Rosleague Manor, please leave a comment below and share your experience. If you’d like to stay at the Rosleague Manor and meet Tyson the K9 Concierge, here is the info:

  • Website: Rosleague.com
  • Phone: +353 95 41101
  • Email: info@rosleague.com
  • Location: Western Part of Ireland along the Wild Atlantic Way.
  • Address: Click for Google Map
  • Rates: $81-$220/night depending on dates and accommodation levels.
  • Amenities: They have a lovely restaurant on-site. Walking trails. Beach access. Sun-room with bar. Outdoor patio.

Tyson the K9 Concierge Pinterest Pin by MikesRoadTrip.com

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6 Comments

    1. Thanks Kirsten! Yeah, I actually might have teared up a bit when I was writing and recalling the encounter. 😉 Thanks for taking the time to read and leave a comment. Hope all is well. Cheers!

    1. Ah, thank you so much Mike. The owner was telling me that Tyson has been his most valuable marketing asset…so many people have talked about how special Tyson is on social media that people have come to the inn just visit with the dog. Thanks so much for reading and taking the time to post a comment. Cheers!

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