A round pair of forlorn eyes gazed up from the bed at Enda and the doctor who was giving him a guided tour of the hospital.
The Taoiseach looked concerned. "You look a bit depressed," he remarked. "Did you hear about the Budget?"
Now, if it had been a poorly two-legged creature, he or she might've taken a turn for the worse at Enda's most unsympathetic bedside manner. But the dog calmly took it on the muzzle.
No wonder Enda was a bit giddy – it's a rare occasion these days when any member of the Government gets a warmreception during a hospital visit. But this time he was in a literal rather than metaphorical dog-house.
But he was among furry friends in the Dublin Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals' (DSPCA) new full service veterinary hospital in Rathfarnham when he arrived to open their new facilities.
And it's quite a complex, consisting of the hospital, a 'hotel and spa' (kennel and grooming-parlour) and of course it has a busy rescue shelter which houses dogs, cats, horses, donkeys – and at the moment – a rescued pig and a three-foot-long snake.
Last year, the DSPCA took in over 4,000 animals.
And given the enthusiasm with which Enda bustled through the door, he might've well been looking for a bit of sanctuary himself from the ongoing dog-fights over cuts and abortion legislation.
The Taoiseach immediately took to Skip, a small, roly-poly terrier who was so named because he was discovered in a skip after some real beasties tried, unsuccessfully, to set him alight. "You won't leave here without a dog, Taoiseach," joked one of the staff.
And he admitted that his family were "between dogs" at the moment, as their last dog, Bounty, was killed last year.
"He met with the front of a car," explained a wistful Enda.
He was taken on a tour of the impressive facilities and met Timmy the cat who contradicted the belief that moggies always land on their feet, as he broke a leg falling down a flight of stairs.
And he checked out the kennels where 37 dog-guests are checked in at present.
"Each kennel has the dog's name, what they eat, and what they like and dislike," explained the centre's dog-trainer Alex Petrilli.
The centre is devised as a one-stop-shop for animal owners who can adopt a pet, avail of the medical services and even will the dog or cat back to the DSPCA who will then find a new home for the pet if its owner dies.
The Taoiseach was very impressed with Mr Petrilli, who owns a dog called Silvio.
"Alex has introduced playtime for the dogs – now this is very interesting, for they bring all the dogs out and they play in a group.
"And those who are not obeying the rules are taken out and put back into their kennels," he explained, and then a thought struck him.
"I think I might do the same with the Cabinet," he mused naughtily. One nearby wag whispered, "Poor oul James Reilly wouldn't see much daylight, so".
Now that's just playing ruff, doggone it.