Tuesday 17 September 2019

We're missing our black bundle of joy

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

Kathleen Dixon, Roscommon

"You should know better," my other half Sean proclaimed, on my arrival home from my in-laws post-Christmas many years ago. The subject of concern was a black bundle, bar white undercarriage and paws - already named 'Guinness'. Our new pet had arrived. Previously, we had two unfortunate episodes with dogs and Sean was not looking forward to more trauma and grief, but the tears had now dried.

Guinness's mother was of pedigree stock. An encounter with an uncouth neighbour's dog resulted in the birth of our new friend, but mother and pup never bonded.

When our black-and-white bundle left that environment behind, she was welcomed by five doting children, and she knew she had landed on her paws. Guinness became great friends with our two kittens; they would cuddle into her and three would sleep together in the sun.

Guinness claimed the fireside chair. One was welcome to share it with her if they provided a lap. She would vet my chores and when I got near her, she would move over as if to say: "Are you sitting down?" She recognised the sound of the car before it came into view as the boss came from work and it was there she claimed the passenger seat.

Our pet loved to visit our local lake, testing the water but avoided getting wet. She loved playing with the children and would never claim a prize for looks or elegance, however, the gentleness, loyalty and the appreciation she showed could not be surpassed. She was not a good guard dog, as she welcomed everyone and escorted them to the door! She would limp on three paws occasionally, alternating the 'limp foot' at various times.

Guinness was my constant companion; she was a great listener. I told her all my troubles and was guaranteed confidentiality. She would look at me with her beautiful eyes, as much as to say: "I can't help but I am here for you." When I returned from night duty, I could sleep soundly with my bodyguard beside me.

Mae, my good neighbour, babysat our pet when the need arose. She claims Guinness would cry when she approached - not out of grievance toward Mae but at knowing she was another day without her family.

Time began to catch up on Guinness. Our local vet relieved her symptoms and prolonged her life but eventually we had to let her go. Her presence had filled the house for a long time. After her departure, it also took time to adapt to our loss.

Thankfully, we had 19 years of love, loyalty, gratitude and friendship, and I would love to relive these years again.

Name: Guinness

Finest hour: Being welcomed by five doting children

Likes: Barking at the moon

Dislikes: Solitude

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

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