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WOMAN ON THE VERGE: All hot and bothered over a proper pup

July 26th, 2022 3:30 PM

By Emma Connolly

An innocent looking Timmy, who is anything but. He doesn’t have ‘official’ papers so his breed is anyone’s guess – part sheep dog, part lurcher possibly, big part messer. As if I wasn’t wrecked enough from all that drama, the heat has finished me off – and Timmy too, so I should be grateful for small mercies!

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This week it’s all about the pup going missing, the community rallying to find him, and the heat. Not that I’m complaining about the weather or anything, but it’s just so … hot!

• ON one of those recent warm days (not the epic warm ones we’ve had this week, I’ll come back to those), the puppy decided to head off for himself on a little adventure. Without telling anyone. He can’t be trusted not to rip a deck chair cushion to shreds, drag undies off the clothes line, or to root up my favourite shrub, but he could always be relied on to stay in the vicinity of base camp without straying. Until now. I’m nearly embarrassed to admit it took us all a few hours to realise he was on the missing list. For a puppy he’s not at all needy, and being honest I think we were just enjoying the peace and quiet. Then someone sort of casually enquired if Timmy was around, and it kind of grew from there. Offhand whistling and calling, became more urgent shouting and roaring as we realised … the pup was missing. Oh for ….

• I mean you could do without it, after a day’s work and all the rest. There was nothing for it but to hop in the car and try and track him down. No joy. Next step was all about mitigation and convincing the six-year-old to go to bed, and that he’d be home by the morning. That took a lot out of me. I had to dig deep. Then it was about rallying the troops and having another look around. I don’t believe in all my years that I’ve walked around my home village of Timoleague on a Wednesday night at 11.30pm, but that’s exactly what I found myself doing last week. If I hadn’t been looking for a lost family pet, and missing Love Island, it would actually have been quite pleasurable. If you woke to hear me shouting ‘Here Timmy boy,’ around 88 times, I apologise. I actually think the poor sod thinks his name is ‘Timmy stop’ because that’s what we say around him most of the time We gave up and cursed our stupidity for having him microchipped, but for not giving him a collar, which is about as helpful as a chocolate teapot.

• Anyway, what happened next is a heart-warming example of a community working together. We posted a picture of Timmy (he’s no looker god love him, but he is very distinctive) on the village Facebook page and the response was phenomenal. He was seen at the duck pond around 3pm. Shortly after we had a positive sighting on the Bandon bridge. And then, wait for it, a flurry of texts came in to say he had spent at least three hours in the local playground. People said he had been playing with their kids, and that he had been very sweet and gentle. I nearly fell off the chair. A street angel, house devil then. This is the same dog that would literally knock you over when he jumps on you, while nipping your hand, and peeing on you. Someone else got in touch to say they fed him some buttered crackers when they were leaving the playground. That made me emotional, but it could have been the exhaustion, so at that stage, so we called it a night.

• I opened the door the next morning without the usual juggernaut to knock me over in enthusiasm; and I looked (a little bit) mournfully at the (very expensive) cedar frame on the porch that he’d chewed to bits. Absence was already making the heart grow fonder. The resident old lady dog was, for the first time in months, able to enjoy her breakfast in peace and I started to wonder if she’d organised a dog napping. In the meantime, other family members printed posters, the word spread further, and there were even more sightings but still no Timmy. Where was he?

• Luckily for us, and Timmy, the stars aligned in a most extraordinary way for a happy ending. My brother was talking to someone who had seen one of the posters, she had said it to her sister, who knew someone, who she thought had him and was going to bring him to the vets in Clonakilty. And as I rang my brother for 50th time that day to see if there was ‘any word’, he was pulling into the vets at the exact same time as this lovely family who had Timmy were. It was like something from a Disney film. Pass the tissues!

• And in a further example of how lovely it is to live in a tight knit community where paths cross, I randomly met the girl from this family, a few days later, and she gave me an entirely new perspective into Timmy, who they sheltered for a night after he hopped into their car when they were leaving the playground. I have to to admit that I’m not sure I’d have been so generous, but I’m so grateful they were. And the amount of people asking after him would do your heart good – it’s no wonder he’s got a new swagger about him.

• Right, so the heat. Jeepers, I’m barely able for it. I mostly blame my over-insulated house. Even in the winter, my gaff is boiling. Flies don’t survive too long here, trying to keep a plant alive is precarious, and visitors have been known to age dramatically during an afternoon visit. Speaking of afternoons, I wonder could we get the Government to pass a temporary bill to allow for a post-lunch nap until the mercury slides back to the more manageable 19 degrees? Something from around 1-3ish maybe? Or would we say 3.30pm to be safe? And maybe clock off then at 4.50pm?

• I’ve always been way out of step with the weather. I was caught out bad during the big snow of 2018 with hardly a hat between us, and as a result I went mental in one of those ‘winter special’ weeks in a German discount supermarket. I bought us all gloves, boots, pants, jackets, grips for the wheels, gallons of de-icer, the works. Basically I spent the equivalent of a ski holiday … and we’ve barely had a hard frost since. I should probably hold off on the air-con unit right?

• I have to say though that one of my favourite things about being Irish is our obsession with the weather. Cock your ears when in the queue of any local shop these days and within five minutes you’ll hear an incredible mix of: ‘Grand day,’ ‘It looks like rain,’ and ‘chilly enough out.’ Give it another few days and someone is bound to come out with ‘the evenings are drawing in a bit already.’ You have to love it. Probably the best thing about the heat though, is that Timmy’s too pooped to move, which is just as well as I’ve had more than enough drama for a while.

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