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Friars' Passions - 7 It's a dog's life

Sunday, February 01, 2009
When I was growing up in rural Kilkenny I was surrounded by animals, farm animals, wildlife in its many amazing forms, and of course dogs. As a child I had the usual collection of animals: rabbits, sometimes injured on the road and kept until they could be released, a quick succession of goldfish, hamsters and most of all dogs. Dogs are by far my favourite domestic animal. Dogs are utterly faithful, affectionate and loyal. They offer to a kind owner complete and utter devotion. 

The types of dogs I have had have all been rough haired collies, which in my opinion exemplify the aforementioned characteristics/virtues. When I got home our dog always welcomes me with a display of excitement. While I was living at home I never had to depend on an alarm clock, as I was usually woken with a paw in the face. In the course of my religious life I have never been in a priory that has had pets of any kind, but if I ever become a superior I will try to change that! 

One of the symbols of our order is a dog with a flaming torch in its mouth, and while that was not the reason I joined (contrary to what my novice master thought) it does support my position that dogs ought to be a natural part of priory life. I leave with a quote that a friend e-mailed to me one day, concerning dogs: “My goal in life is to be as good a person my dog already thinks I am”.

Br Dennis Murphy OP is a student of the Irish Province, shown above with his dream dog!


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