I put my dog’s needs first and gave Gloria a peaceful passing



On 1st May I held my best pal in my arms, and, giving her what I knew, deep in my heart, was the greatest, and indeed the most agonising gift I could ever give, I allowed her, with the help of our lovely veterinarian Hannah, to pass away peacefully and compassionately in my arms. Our precious Gloria was one of our family of adopted fur babies and her death has left me with a sense of sadness so crushing, and so heart-splitting, I find myself tormented by grief at the loss of our much-cherished family member.

  Like her brother and sisters, Gloria, a beautiful, vivacious, ball of fun, wrapped in a golden mane of fur, was rescued by us, (as then animal welfare officers), from a life of unimaginable cruelty. That was in 2011. However, given this little Pomeranian’s sad circumstances, our shelter vet quickly determined that, if she was going to survive, Gloria would need a nine-hour surgical procedure, with me providing back-up as an emergency ‘stand-in’ assistant. Now perhaps it was Gloria’s incredible will to live, (more likely it was our vet’s expert surgical skills), or perhaps it was my strangling of the 1978 disco hit ‘I Will Survive’ throughout the procedure, (hence her name Gloria after Gloria Gaynor), but miraculously, our little lady made it. And, you’ve guessed it, an attachment was formed, with me telling staff (and hubby) I wanted no arguments, this ball of fluff was joining the mad pack of fur babies that have become our entire world.

  My difficult decision to end Gloria’s suffering was made on foot of a call from Cloverhill vet Stephen. You see, following what was a two-week fight to save our little lady’s life, it was agreed he’d carry out an exploratory procedure under local anaesthetic to determine the origins regarding the sudden appearance of a hard, bony lump at the top of our girl’s head. Sadly, it was a neoplastic mass consistent with a multilobular tumour of bone. Unbeknownst to us, this cancer had been slowly growing inside our darling Gloria, killing her from the inside, and, in her twelfth year, had invaded her brain. So, following Stephen’s compassionate advice, having spent 24 hours sitting quietly home alone with my precious girl nestled in my arms, we drove to Cloverhill Veterinary Clinic where we were gently led into a quiet room, and, as myself and Gloria gazed into each other’s eyes, I quietly sang to my little lady, told her how much I loved her, and, proving that love, (with the help of vet Hannah), I allowed my angel to peacefully slip away. 

  I’ll tell you readers, losing my Gloria was painful enough, but to have to count down those hours to her humane euthanasia was more than I could bear. I’m not ashamed to say that, a month on, I’m left with a pain in my heart so overwhelmingly powerful, it chokes me up, causing me to suddenly break down crying; often in public places.  

  I’ve got many people to thank for their kindness during Gloria’s brief but devastating illness, all of whom patiently listened to me while I struggled to breathe, talk and cry at the same time, but I must mention my dear friend/colleague Mike Power and my two daughters. I won’t forget how each of you spread your empathy and your love over me, creating a blanket of compassion and understanding.   

  I need to say a heartfelt thank you and pay tribute to everyone at Cloverhill Veterinary Surgery, in particular the true gentleman that is principal vet John Finnegan, and his wonderful staff, the lovely Hannah and the straight-talking yet gentle Stephen who all worked so hard, using every bit of expertise they possessed, to try and save our precious girl. A special mention goes to receptionist Colette who shuffled around many an appointment to fit us in. You’re all legends and you all have my gratitude. Big thanks to Niall at Mayo Pet Crematorium for his compassion while handling/cremating Gloria’s remains. You’re a gent Niall.

  I want to thank the one person who understands how Gloria was my universe. Who knows how much her precious life, as well as our other fur babies’ lives, are interwoven with our own; he’s also the one person whom, each time he sees me unravelling, lovingly holds me up…my husband Simon.


Trump is unpopular, but what if we need him?


It’s (un)official, (keep an eye on twitter ‘cos he could still change his mind), but it appears we’re all geared up for a visit from the Tangerine Tornado, sorry, The Donald! Could we be more underwhelmed? But seriously, while Captain Chaos and Melania’s presence on our shores may prove controversial, not to mention costly, (we’re allegedly spending €10 million plus on security), the fact is, Leo did extend an invitation so…blame him! Look, I’m no fan of Trump and find his derisory rhetoric on, well most things, to be nauseating. However, given Theresa May’s resignation and the Brexit bombshell about to befall us, remaining friends with the world’s biggest baby, sorry most powerful man, would prove much more beneficial to us than rebuffing him.

  You see, if Britain’s next PM is someone who goes to the EU saying ‘screw the Irish, cut them loose and let’s do business,’ as opposed to May’s attempt to try and strike a middle-ground, then we’re gonna need to fall back on our special friendship with the US. And even though Trump’s an unpopular individual, and we may not wish to make him welcome, as POTUS, we must accept and respect his office. I mean, come on folks, is there anything that terrible about Trump that can’t be cured by a decent haircut and a personality transplant?

  Look, while I appreciate Trump was caught bragging on tape about using his fame to, “grab (women) by the, (for the sake of decency), lady-bits,” clearly believing his tasteless brand of honesty is medicine to the world’s ears, (we’re clearly in the placebo group Donald), I do think those planning to protest need to rethink their strategy. My reason being, if we’re left high and dry by Brexit, we just may need Trump. So, let’s keep Ireland Inc and our financial future at heart folks, and let’s do this by keeping on the right side of the US!



I won’t miss D’Arcy’s  weekly dose of dross


Did you know that broadcaster Ray D’Arcy (allegedly) earns €400,000 a year to host what in my opinion have got to be the most monotonous talk shows on TV and radio? I mean, given the choice, I’d rather chew off a vital body part without the aid of an anaesthetic while watching tedious TDs debate during an Oireachtas Committee live-stream than suffer through another Dreary D’Arcy interview.

  So, while I’d imagine Ray’s a real hoot at the wrap party, as a licence fee payer I’m relieved to read rumours his TV show’s facing the axe! I for one won’t miss D’Arcy’s weekly dose of dross, plugging publicity-starved wannabees desperate for their moment in the spotlight!