Jolly Roger's tail of the unexpected
We did not find Roger - rather, he found us back in 2008.
Like so many before him, Roger came in search of love but was quickly rebuffed by our neighbour's heavily pregnant Labrador Lulu, who, after taking one look at her 'liquorice allsorts' suitor, quickly sent poor Roger packing.
Having travelled so far, Roger must have decided that he might as well stay. And so began an adoption process with him choosing us and not we him.
The name Roger would follow from the US sitcom Sister, Sister which was airing at the time and had the catchy line 'Go Home Roger' which our neighbour's daughter duly christened him, following his eviction from their home.
Back in 2008, we think that Roger was about four years old, so this would make him at least 14 now. And it was only recently that the vet confirmed in writing that Roger was a hound, something which came as a shock to my mother, who clearly thought that such a canine classification was beneath Roger.
As you can imagine, Roger has had his fair share of scrapes over the years, the most notable of which followed an occasion when my dad decided to take Roger for a well-deserved wash in Lough Rea.
According to my dad -while he was applying only the best dog shampoo - Roger suddenly broke free and, not knowing his own strength, my dad ended up breaking Roger's tail.
It was an injury which only showed itself later on, following an expensive visit to the vet, and for which my dad would spend a week in the proverbial doghouse!
Roger clearly lives up to the reputation of being a hound - when he does not want to do something, no amount of coaxing will get him to obey.
A case in point is getting him to go outside to do his business or staying in the garage when we are away.
If, at any stage, Roger figures out by our clothes or general demeanour that we are about to set off on a journey without him, he disappears under the stairs or becomes glued to his bed so that no-one can move him.
Roger has been the best thing to come into our lives and has made himself at home in our home.
Even our cat Misty - who can be fiercely territorial - has come to accept Roger as part of the furniture.
If you are having a bad day, then a few minutes in Roger's company and all your cares and woes in the world will disappear.
M Dillon, Glasson, Athlone
Finest hour: Recovering after a prolapsed disc from jumping up to open a door and missing the target
Likes: Car journeys; Granny's lamb bones; chocolate; nuts
Dislikes: Ambulance sirens; fire-crackers; 'Ralph' and 'Jack'
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