I was out walking with Patsy a number of years ago when a gorgeous golden Cocker Spaniel puppy came bounding towards us. As a dog lover my heart melted.
When it was within about five feet of us Patsy started to growl - a low, throaty snarl that was reminiscent of a mammy wolf warning predators that she would ate the leg off them if they so much as looked crooked at her young.
Patsy hated dogs, and if I wasn't there she'd probably have chased it off with a stick. But, as we all know, when Jose arrived in Ireland from Madrid, so did Indi, his beloved 12-year-old Siberian Samoyed.
"He's a big hairy yoke, and what if he has fleas?" Patsy wailed, scratching her armpits as if the fleas had already arrived off an earlier flight with a visa for Kildare.
Indi didn't like Patsy, probably because she pawed Jose more than he did, but he soon came round. As did the new Mrs Molina who, within a week, had fallen head over heels with the big hairy yoke.
Soon Indi was allowed in the kitchen, then the sitting room to watch Corrie, and it wasn't long before he was up the stairs and on the bed, sleeping between them like a slobbery baby.
Patsy bought him doggy treats which Jose disapproved of, but not as much as he disapproved of Patsy putting a bib around Indi's neck and letting him sit at the table with his very own bowl of dinner.
"No se sorprenda si ella me pone fuera a orinar," he grumbled, which meant he wouldn't be surprised if Patsy put him outside to pee.
LABOURED Recently, Indi became ill and Patsy and Jose were beside themselves with worry. His heart was full of fluid, he was coughing and having difficulty breathing.
Injections were given and antibiotics administered, but to no avail. Indi's breathing was getting more laboured and his soulful eyes said it all. He was suffering and he needed it to stop.
"I know what has to be done, but I just can't do it," Patsy cried down the phone.
I cried with her. A day later they couldn't stand watching him struggle any more and took the vet's advice. Indi was put to sleep.
I went over to see them. Patsy couldn't talk as great big tears slid down her face. Jose could barely hold it together.
"Una poca bit of my heart died today," he whispered. "No more Indi. Gone for ever. No more come back to me. No more words."
We sat there in silence. He was right. There were no more words to say.