Ambrose, the Beagle-Jack Russell, who shares a house with me, is a well fed dog. Every evening at seven o’clock he gets a bowl of lamb and rice dry mix with water, he eats as much as he can find either in the kitchen bin through the day and on the street when he’s out for his constitutional. Then when I sit down to eat he expects to have his share of my food. People say that the dog is man’s best friend, but I am unconvinced. I get the impression that had I to keel over and die he would start feasting on my mortal remains. His loyalty stretches only as far as the person who is presently eating. I had thought that when I ended his homelessness as a puppy he would be my BFF, but in that regard he has been a major let down. Ambrose has two great loves – eating and sleeping. He doesn’t even pay rent or contribute to the bills. Now that he is seventy-seven in human years he is only getting worse. Like an old man he lets his wind go whenever he wants – even when I’m eating. He just doesn’t care.

I suppose that I am writing this about the wee dug because I read the story of what happened to a similar little critter down in the Curragh. A vindictive animal or animals as yet unknown took a young terrier, starved and maltreated him, and finally hog-tied him over an open fire near the racecourse; leaving him to cook alive. In a pitiful condition the defenceless dog was rescued, but later died as a result of his appalling injuries. In the comments section beneath the article people were asking the same rubbishy questions; “Who could do such a thing?” People could do this. Someone did do this, and it happens all too frequently here in Ireland. There is a cruelty lurking here. It happens in other countries as well, but either we report on these stories more often here or it happens more here. Either way it is disgusting. Whoever is responsible for this savagery poses a serious danger to the community.

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