My Pet: Gentle Poppy finds happiness again
Hi, my name is Poppy, a name given to me by my owner, Elsie, who recently passed away at the age of 94. We had six great years together and we were the best of friends.
I was the centre of attention and all I had to do was be my gentle self, careful not to trip her up, chase stray cats from the bird feeders and make sure a dreaded rat never took up residency 'out there'. Easy stuff, really. She wasn't my first owner, I'm not sure who was. All I know is that I ended up homeless and by chance, strayed into her son's house. I was in a bad state with a matted smelly coat and I was starving.
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His daughter cared for me and put my photograph up on Facebook to try find my previous owner. She walked me up and down the road, asking at every house, but nobody recognised me.
Soon after, she rang her animal-loving granny who didn't have a dog at the time, since her last one died of old age and she was afraid to have another as she feared she wouldn't be around long enough to look after one. So, there I arrived and within a day, I was given a complete makeover; I looked fabulous and the search was called off! Life couldn't have got much better after that! Her grandchildren would walk me on their visits, I got chicken fillet and rice for my dinners and plenty of treats on the QT. We would sit, chat and watch our favourite TV every day - Paul O'Grady: For the Love of Dogs.
As time passed, my owner needed more minding, with doctors and daffodil nurses coming and going. Over last Christmas, I used to curl up and lie on her sick bed for what would be the last time. At the funeral, I was walked from the church to the graveyard with her family behind the hearse. It was a first for some people who saw this but to be honest, it wasn't going to be any other way.
Now, I'm back living with her granddaughter and it's lovely here. Although I do feel very special, I'm no longer quite the centre of attention as there are two other dogs and a cat to contend with. I miss Elsie a lot but I feel so very lucky to have lived a lovely life with her and to have been able to give her so much joy over the years.
So to anybody reading, elderly or not, it's never too late to adopt a pretty little mutt like me!
Chloe McNabb, Tullow, Co Carlow
Finest hour: My best friend's funeral
Likes: 'Paul O'Grady: For the Love of Dogs'
Dislikes: Stray cats
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