Category Archives: Pets

Some diary entries … September to November 1998

Sean and Itsy

1/9/98 – While we were eating some pizza for dinner, two wagtails flew into our bedroom window: one soon died; I put the other in a hedge where it may have survived.

2/9/98 – We had to wake Sean and Susanna in the morning for their first day at their new school. Pauline dressed them in their grey uniforms and took photos … [Later] Sean and Susanna both enjoyed their first day – Pauline had worried about Susanna because she cried a bit this morning on arrival, perhaps a bit confused. Sean, typically, ‘completely loves’ his teacher … While the kids were playing at Sinead’s, Pauline and I had a long walk around by Lurganboy. It was a beautiful evening, and the country landscape was lovely. We saw a fox running in a field, playfully (it seemed) trying to catch birds.

3/9/98 – Very happy to be living in the country – it’s so beautiful. Continue reading



Filed under Death, Ireland, Memories, Pets

Some diary entries … June to August 1999

Sean and Tiger

1/6/99 – We got the kids out to school – Sean made a big fuss because he didn’t want to wear his uniform – apparently lots of kids don’t wear them these days. Susanna didn’t have to wear hers because it’s her PE day.

2/6/99 – I played pool with Sean.

4/6/99 – Sean had been complaining of various ailments over the past few days, so we let him stay off school.

5/6/99 – Pauline took Sean to Virginia, and he had a haircut according to his instructions, which looks very good. He was absolutely thrilled with it; he thinks it looks really cool. Continue reading


Filed under Death, Ireland, Memories, Pets


Tango, photographed by Sean

We already had Pippa when Tango came to us, as a small pup, some years ago. He was a ‘rescue dog’, and had belonged to a neighbour who discovered, on getting him, that she was allergic to dogs. So we took him.

At first we wondered if we’d be able to keep him, as he was a bundle of energy that play-fought with Pippa constantly and got on everyone’s nerves (especially Pippa’s). But he calmed down a bit, and we grew to love him.

Tango is quite a character. We used to say jokingly that he was ‘special’ – meaning a bit dim. He was a ‘happy chappy’, as we said, who lived his life entirely in the moment (Pippa was always able to ask for what she wanted, but Tango never did). Sean used to play with him and laugh at him all the time. Although he loved Pippa, I think he loved Tango more. Tango amused him no end. Continue reading


Filed under Death, Ireland, Memories, Pets

Sean, dogs and loss

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Sean took these photos of our terriers, Pippa (tan) and Tango (black), some years ago … there is another batch of them playing together that I will post when I find it.

We have lost a lot this year. First and foremost, we have lost Sean. We have also lost several friends and people with whom we had a connection. The line ‘Good friends we had, and good friends we lost/Along the way’ in ‘No Woman No Cry’ always brings tears to my eyes, though I managed to sing it in the pub the other night without breaking down. Continue reading


Filed under Death, Pets, Photography

Sally – the story of a three-legged Labrador

Some years ago we started to foster dogs. A neighbour of ours was fostering cats, and it seemed like a good idea, so we volunteered to look after abandoned or neglected dogs until suitable permanent homes could be found for them.

The first batch we received comprised a Labrador bitch and her four small puppies. She was called ‘Lassie’; I thought this an unsuitable name for a lab and suggested we change it to ‘Sally’.

Sally had a problem with her right front leg, which was badly injured near the shoulder. It had been broken – perhaps she’d been hit by a car – and not looked after. Her ribs were visible through her coat, and she was generally in very poor shape. The first night she snarled at us if we went near the pups. But once she realized that we meant them all well, she became very friendly and docile; soon she was running round the garden and keeping her pups in line. Continue reading


Filed under Pets