Saturday 21 July 2018

My Pet: Meet Minnie, our star of the show

Minnie and mistress
Minnie and mistress

Fiona Byrne

If ever there was a pet that was as wonderful as The Wizard of Oz, meet Minnie, alias Toto, star of the show and our very own YouTube sensation!

This little diva waddled across the stage of St Mary's Youth Centre, Tullamore, towards Dorothy, wagging her two-inch tail behind her. It helped that she lives with Dorothy in real life! Minnie came to live with us by chance.

Sadly, in need of rehoming, having lost her long-time family, she cut a tragic figure wandering around dangerous roads, lonely, confused and desperately seeking shelter and security. With an established set of large paws already patrolling the estate, we were hesitant. The matter was resolved easily enough. Minnie is a lady through and through with impeccable manners. She did, however, fall from grace on one occasion during her first few days. She did a wee into Tim's bowl of drinking water! He slunk away in disgust and the canine order was established. It would be 'her indoors' and 'Tim outdoors'. We now have three dogs. They get along fine. Minnie likes the boys to stay outdoors. Sometimes when they are resting indoors, she rushes to the door barking at an imaginary intruder. The boys, not being as clever as she, immediately rush to the door to join her in the chase. They fall over each other to get out quickly. Minnie retreats to the couch, pleased as punch. Job done. Dogs gone.

If we thought it would be difficult to train her, we were right. This old girl was set in her ways, a creature of habit and routine. She lost no time in training us to adapt to her needs.

Minnie suffered from anxiety with pitiful nightmares, whining and growling in her sleep. If left alone she would fret and did not eat her food until I returned. Raised voices terrified her and with four teenagers the house is not always a peaceful haven. Minnie, however, is always treated with kindness. Inadvertently, she has taught us to be more kind and considerate.

Just as she came to live with us by chance, it was a chance casting that saw her rise to fame - albeit temporarily - as Toto. When she wasn't on stage (a fake dog replacing her for the noisy scenes), she basked in the limelight behind stage, surrounded by adoring starlets and fans.

Now retired from stage and screen, Minnie is happy to relax over the rainbow where hopefully her dreams have come true.

Yes, it's true, there's no place like home! Take a bow wow, Minnie!

Fiona Byrne, Rahan, Offaly

Name: Minnie

Finest hour: On stage as Toto in local show 'The Wizard of Oz'

Likes: Walks, treats, tummy-rubs, the foot of a warm bed, children

Dislikes: Rain, stormy weather, too much noise, cats, car drives

If you would like your pet featured in this column please send a story of 440 words and a photograph to clearly labelled MY PET

Sunday Independent

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