Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Why bring the dogs?

As every dog lover knows, dogs are human too. Indeed they are often more human than their masters. Dogs can be happy or sad, generous or possessive. They can grieve for departed companions canine and human.

Dogs give us an insight into the marvellous miracle of nature. The more we learn about animals the more we are in awe of them. The more we realise how much we have in common with the animal world.

If I was to divide my life in two, I would say that I spent the first fifty years taking everything for granted and the past thirteen marvelling at everything, amazed that anything works.

Our dogs, similar to almost every dog we know, love walking. They have proved cheaper than a gym and more enjoyable. Every day sees us climb Dalkey or Killiney Hills, occasionally both. Being small and white and fluffy means that a twenty minute walk regularly takes forty as people stop and pet them. It is impossible to walk the Hills without most people saluting you. Very uncitylike (word-spell doesn't like this word, but I do).

As we walk Dun Laoghaire Pier on Saturday week we may spare a thought for Excalibur, the dog who once belonged to the Spanish nurse Teresa Romero who courageously administered to the two dying Spanish missionaries in Madrid. Most people in Spain, myself included, felt the dogs death was an unnecessary overreaction.

Hopefully Excalibur will be the last unnecessary sacrifice in this important battle. Meanwhile the Murray dogs have been in training for the big day.

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