Puppy love for Clare widower thanks to caring community

Communities in North and East Clare have teamed up to reunite a Carron man with a new pup after his wife Catherine and dog died in quick succession, writes Conor Clohessy.
Paddy Hynes (93) is known in the region for his storytelling and has honed his craft at the Teach Ceoil in Corofin and Ennistymon.
The Burren Riding Club was instrumental in finding the pet for Paddy and asked its members for any help they could get – and were very lucky.
Margaret Corry, club secretary, said, “One of our members, Hazel Frawley, answered the call and said she had just been to the vet about a phantom pregnancy with her own dog but promised to keep an eye out.
“A few weeks later she called me and said the phantom pregnancy was a real pregnancy and she now has three pups! When I left the puppy at Paddy’s home after six weeks, it was as if he had won the lottery. “
Paddy recalls that while his grandson Luke originally called the puppy Maskie, he has moved on to calling Paddy’s new companion Pudsie, a nickname the Jack Russell adopted much faster.
Although Pudsie has been the culprit of many destructive crimes in the house since then, Paddy assures that he thoroughly enjoyed their time together as he wanted a puppy rather than an older dog so he could train her from the start.
He stated that his storytelling ability was passed on from his late uncle and that he started reciting poetry and stories as a child.
Paddy said, “All the choirs in the area went to the Plain Chant at Ennistymon, and an inspector from Kerry visited our class often.
“Once he came with us in Ennistymon and he noticed that I wasn’t singing. My teacher told me that my voice was breaking, so the inspector gave me a Douglas Hyde poem to read.
“Then he told me that he would come back in the fall and give me another poem.
This time it was The Capture, the Trial and the Escape of Séamus O’Brien, which contained about 23 verses. “
From then on, Paddy began telling poetry on a regular basis, his first public reading being held over 85 years ago in a pub in Kinvara during a meeting held there every December 8th.
Paddy considers himself lucky because he lives in one of the most beautiful places in the country, the heart of the Burren, and has very little to complain about these days with regular visits from his grandchildren and his new puppy by his side.
The Burren Riding Club also recently enjoyed winning gold at the National Show Jumping Championships in Mullingar two weeks ago and qualifying for All-Ireland Dressage on Sunday.

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