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A widower’s diary: The dog was my wife’s idea. Mostly he’s a chore but occasionally he wins me over

Father of four Steve Dempsey recently lost his wife to cancer. He writes about life after saying goodbye

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Steve Dempsey at home in Skerries, Co Dublin. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Steve Dempsey at home in Skerries, Co Dublin. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Steve Dempsey at home in Skerries, Co Dublin. Photo: Steve Humphreys

The dog is a problem. He’s a golden retriever called BMO — pronounced Beemo — after a character in a cartoon the kids liked. He’s big and friendly. Actually, friendly is a gross understatement. He’s jumpy to the point of over-exuberance but he’s a gentle giant and the boys all love him. So what’s the problem?

Well, he was my wife’s idea. She got a dog and died months later, leaving me with four kids and a needy — if lovable — hound. Most of the time he feels like another chore, another body that needs my time and effort. I’m still resentful, still reluctant to love him fully.

"In fairness, we did have a big garden. We already had a cat, some fish, and yes, a snake. So surely a dog would fit right in.”

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