Sunday, 1 January 2017



I LOST MY 17 YEAR OLD JACK RUSSELL - SHEBA - over this Christmas and it was and is very hard going.

Only dog lovers or those who have been through similar will understand what I mean.

Don't get me wrong. I in no way compare the loss of a beloved pet to the loss of human life. In fact in the past few days I have been telling myself to think of the poor children of Syria and Yemen and indeed the suffering of all the children and people around the world - the victims of war, hunger, thirst, disease etc.

Sheba was bought for Christmas 1999 by someone in Larne. By early new year 2000 they had tired of her and she was dumped on the motorway and sent to a kennel.  I had lost my pet Doberman, Nero, some time before and when I was visiting the kennel owner she placed Sheba on my knew and said: "HERE'S THE CURE FOR YOUR SADNESS".

I only had Sheba a few days when I had a wedding at Kilkea Castle in Kildare. The to save her any trauma I brought her with me but as I drove through the gates of the castle there was a big sign: NO DOGS ALLOWED.

The manager and I had a discussion that roughly went - "No dog, no wedding". Sheba was allowed to stay.

Sheba was a very independent female. She only did what she wanted to do. But she gave a lot of love, a lot of loyalty and a lot of pleasure. 

Another interesting thing about Sheba is that she attended Mass more often that many Catholics do. She often sat at daily and Sunday Masses.

When she was about two I decided to let he have one litter. She gave birth to four pups, had them all cleaned up and was asleep within 20 minutes.

To bring about the litter I brought Sheba to a stud dog on a farm outside Saintfield in Co. Down. She was placed in a horse box with "Ben". I later wrote the following verse about the event based on the poem: HE'S GONE TO SCHOOL WEE HUGHIE:


She’s gone to stud, wee Sheebie,
An' her not two.
Sure I saw the fear was in her,
When ould Ben came through.

But she used her tail to block him,
An' he wasn’t wil’ impressed.
Still he persevered like goodo,
Just in case she was repressed.

She cut a touchin’ figure,
More anxious than unsure.
As she entered Charlie’s horse box,
With its slippy crappy floor.

We listened on the outside,
As Ben produced his pride.
And as Sheebie wrestled bravely,
And refused to be his bride.

But the day had been appointed,
In her cycle ‘twas eleven.
And while making her a mammy,
Randy Ben was just in Heaven.

So Ben he sowed his wild oats,
And cute Sheebie bore her brood.
Making Jo Jo a great midwife,*
And the bishop in good mood.

But the moral of this story,
Is for all the female species.
Never give your heart to a bishop,
For he’ll drop you in horse faeces.

(* Jo Jo was Pat's mother)

Sheba had four puppies - a female and three males. I have one of her sons Scrapper with me and the others are in various good homes.

There is neither the time, the space or the need to explain all the years of love, loyalty and pleasure Sheba gave me and all who knew her.

The journey to the vet last Thursday morning for Sheba to go asleep was one of the hardest journeys I've made. However it is the last great act of sacrificial love we make to our pet.

I have been crying since she died and of this I am unashamed. 

We left her a night in The Oratory in Larne and with a friend I celebrated a Mass of thanksgiving to God for her life and love and we buried her in the garden.

Rudyard Kipling wrote:

The Power of the Dog

THERE is sorrow enough in the natural way
From men and women to fill our day;
And when we are certain of sorrow in store,
Why do we always arrange for more?
Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
Buy a pup and your money will buy
Love unflinching that cannot lie
Perfect passion and worship fed
By a kick in the ribs or a pat on the head.
Nevertheless it is hardly fair
To risk your heart for a dog to tear.

When the fourteen years which Nature permits
Are closing in asthma, or tumour, or fits,
And the vet's unspoken prescription runs
To lethal chambers or loaded guns,
Then you will find - it's your own affair, -
But ... you've given your heart to a dog to tear.

When the body that lived at your single will,
With its whimper of welcome, is stilled (how still!),
When the spirit that answered your every mood
Is gone - wherever it goes - for good,
You will discover how much you care,
And will give your heart to a dog to tear!

We've sorrow enough in the natural way,
When it comes to burying Christian clay.
Our loves are not given, but only lent,
At compound interest of cent per cent,
Though it is not always the case, I believe,
That the longer we've kept 'em, the more do we grieve;
For, when debts are payable, right or wrong,
A short-time loan is as bad as a long -
So why in - Heaven (before we are there)
Should we give our hearts to a dog to tear?

Was it all worth it? Was the gift of Sheba for 17 years worth the pain at the end?


Would I do it again?

I may - but not for a little while.


  1. Sorry for your loss, especially at this time of year

  2. My husband, son and I wept buckets when our cat died. RIP Sheba

    1. We can get really attached to our pets. They give us unconditional love and loyalty.

      I think it is no coincidence that DOG is GOD spelled backways.

    2. You have me in tears here Pat. It brings back memories of when we had to put our beloved Oscar to sleep and I spent the dsy after crying at work. Dogs are so faithful and dont judge us as humans do

  3. You have my sympathy, they do become part of the family.

  4. Happy new year Pat and sorry for your loss.
    If it will cheer you up I will be able to get that funny video of the Maynooth faculty to stay online if you can get another link to it (and the maynooth gang will not be able to take it down this time);-)

    1. I would like that - and so would Blog readers :-)

    2. It is in the nature of things that when the tower completely collapses,we have to allow ourselves time and space to sit by the broken pieces before eventually we feel the energy and heart to rebuild again---Cecily

  5. I am SO happy sheba died! You do NOT deserve to care for a dog judging by the way you treat innocent people with your lies, concocted stories, innuendo and suggestion! Karma is catching up with YOU!

    From: Someone who is praying for your death.

    1. Take care your prayers do not turn back on you GOOD CATHOLIC.

    2. You asshole. Karma will get you 12.58.

    3. 12.58...Wow! I haven't heard such spite since the junior school playground. I do hope that you are not training to be a priest.

    4. 12:58, again wow.

      Sheba was a rescue dog who lived a long and happy life with Bishop Pat. At 17 years of age that appears to be a life time of great care offered by Bishop Pat. 12:58, if karma meant a long, comforting And friendly life than that is what would be just here. 12:58, I will say no more for only God can judge you and the place of your comment in that judgement. God bless you.

      Bishop Pat, god bless you too. May the Lord comfort you especially at this difficult and challenging time.


  6. Hahahahaha just to know you are in pain brings many many many people joy!!!! Happy New Year Pat!

  7. You know what would make blog readers happy? Your death.

    John Fla

    1. Sad some of these comments Says more about the person/S that makes them than it does about you Pat

    2. Shocking comment John Fla. If you've a problem with Bishop Pat then you've probably been up to no good.

      Well said Sean.


  8. Not for nothing is a pooch called 'man's best friend'.

    You've lost your best (most loyal) friend, so your grief is only proper. But 'Sheebie' lives on, Bishop Pat. She's not gone; she'll always be around you.

    Love and loyalty cannot die.

  9. You know, Bishop, that my friend, Armagh Sam and I disagree with you frequently,
    However, please accept our sympathies and those of Chip (my dog) and those of my two budgies. Been there and know what it is like!

  10. Wow Pat - Maynooth's finest are in full force today.

    What vicious little scumbags are produced by that sick place.

    I am sorry to hear about your dog Pat.

    Happy New Year to you.

  11. Watch out for the final dregs of poison to come out as the evil empire is coming apart at the seams.

    You were right about some vile and dangerous people in the Church here Pat.

    God rest your dog. :-)

  12. We have 2 horses. Rosie is a cheeky assertive cob/native mare 14 hh high so she is small in the horse world but big enough for me to ride. Sometimes I think she is my Auntie May come back to life because of her cheeky mannerisms. I believe in the hierarchy of creation and that through our interaction with animals we can learn more about each other and God. I sympathize with you on the loss of your dog

  13. New Years greetings. Interesting the nasty tone of some bloggers on this "World Day of Peace"
    Iggy O Donovan

    1. Does Pat add this peace you speak of iggy? He accuses SO many people of horrible things with no proof. I think people are right to challange him and point out how much of a terrible person he is.

      Very let down by you Fr. Iggy.

      Tom (Augustinian parishioner and keeping and eye)

    2. Tom you sound like a great product of your CATHOLICISM.

  14. Judging by some of those hateful comments Pat, I am more and more determined that I will never let any priest or seminarian who has been recently ordained in this country near any of my children. They have revealed themselves by their words. It appears that they learn more about "karma" in Maynooth than the teachings of Jesus Christ.

    Like any brave journalist who exposes the truth about evil, corrupt institutions you unfortunately risk the above vitriol and venom.

    Stay strong Pat.

  15. Maybe some of the above hate-filled comments are from caustic cosseted little queens who fear that one of their main enablers and protectors is on the way out??

    Happy New Year Pat!

  16. Pat, the hate filled comments above just prove how much damage you're doing exposing those cretins.
    Condolences on the loss of your dog.

  17. “When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.”
    Khalil Gibran
    Sorry for your loss +Pat. I love that photo with her stood behind you. Don't leave it too long to find another. New life after death is a great healer.

    1. A lovely quote from Gibran.

      I still have Sheba's son - "Scrapper" with me. He is 14.

      He is not himself since she died.

      Instinctively he knows something is wrong.

      Sheba was a rescue dog.

      In time I will rescue another.

  18. Sorry for your loss, Pat. Dogs are so expressive, loyal, fun and with distinctive personalities. People could learn a lot from them.

  19. Look on the brightside - you will see your dog some day in hell :-)

    1. I have a good idea who you are 15:20 and 17:18 etc. You are either one or some of the lying cowardly vermin in Maynooth here with me, someone hiding out in Rome or a recently ordained disgraced Grindr priest of an Archdiocese who has been moved to another Parish.

      Believe me when I say that these people are well capable of such disturbing and evil comments. They lie or have lied all their way through formation and then utter the most audacious premeditated lies before God and their poor Bishop when taking their "vows", which mean absolutely nothing to them. Lies is their particular and favoured modus operandi. And I believe that yes some of them are sociopaths who will attempt to utterly destroy anyone who exposes them with the most nefarious attacks and deceptions.

  20. The vicious comments you see posted on this Blog today are made be the products of Irish Roman Catholicism.

    These are the "Good Catholics" that are the legacy of Cackle Daly and the Maynooth Mafia.

    While not publishing the most vile I am publushing these to show the fruits of Catholicism.

    As the Good Lord said: "By their fruits shall ye know them".

    1. Pat, sorry about your dog.

      Those posts are not the "fruits of Catholicism". They are the venomous spewings of sinful men who are not living in the grace of God.

      It has nothing to do with Catholicism. If they were truly living their Faith they would not write such wicked things and they would not be bolstering up - and defending - the corrupt and corrupting men you are relentlessly exposing.

  21. Very sorry for your loss Pat, I hope the many happy memories you have of her will console you over time. In relation to your comment about other animals sensing a loss, when my first cat died, his surviving sister changed significantly following his death, becoming quieter and generally less active. I certainly think animals are affected by loss, as well as ourselves, but maybe to a lesser extent.

    May God bless you in the New Year.

  22. MournemanMichael1 January 2017 at 19:05

    Pat, by coincidence, political writer and commentator Alex Kane wrote in yesterday's Telegraph about the loss of his dog Bo. He described it as heartbreaking and with many of the same emotions as yourself.
    My sympathy to you.
    All the best for the New Year.

  23. Sorry you lost your pet, pat
    But more sorry that posters post their venom on here
    Perhaps in future don't bother with the negatives
    New year and all that
    We who love to read your blogs don't need theses negatives
    Why did you post them ? I would not have done so
    But getting back to dogs I have opinions about many owners
    Over the years I've watched people, who stop their cars , maybe to go into a shop, then they proceed to take the dog out of their car to have a shit, and believe me or do not believe me, but they then proceed to direct their dog to my lawn.
    No theses people are not my neighbours, they most likely live miles from me, but it suits them, as my lawn is handy to their stopping area
    Can any so called dog lovers explain why owners don't actually care where their dog shits when on a journey from a to b
    Is it because they only pass my lawn once in a lifetime, sure the owner of the lawn don't know them and will never see them again
    To me most dog owners stink

  24. Loosing a dog is a hard and lonely time. Sending my best wishes and prayers.


  25. Sean, happy new year x
    Reading your post about having 2 horses. Lol
    There can't be muchl lack of money in your house of late
    From family experience, keeping horses is an extremely expensive pastime
    Good to note your sparce Times are long past and you enjoying life.

  26. Reading some of the unchristian and vile comments appearing in this blog I can see why I prefer animals to some so called human beings.
    The loss of a much loved and cared for pet is devastating and leaves an amazing void in our lives.
    I can understand and relate a lot to the pain and sense of loss you are feeling Pat and you have my heartfelt sympathy.
    If I may offer a word of advice.. don't delay in giving another dog a loving home. This is the greatest tribute you can pay to Sheba ..that you can't live without her. You will never replace her as the memories you have shared with her are very special and enduring . But you can honour her memory by rescuing another dog and creating more special memories.