19.05.2005 21:44 - The Dog Lady
A former work-colleague of Her Maj does some sterling work rescuing dogs in Ireland. By day she's the secretary at the Irish branch of a large german bank, but by night she is the guardian of border collies everywhere. Whilst we were over there, we decided to pay her a visit. She is forever trying to find homes for the dogs she saves, and so I was warned sternly not to accept any packages from her, especially ones that went "woof!". B works hard at finding homes for collies, especially back in her native Germany.
Uisneach Border Collie Rescue centre is actually B's house, with several large cages built round it, for the dogs to live in. The cages are quite comfortable, with an enclosed kennel area. The house is in the valley which is overlooked by Cashel Rock, which is supposedly what St. Patrick stuck on top of all the snakes. As we approached the house, the dogs all began to bark, until B came out and yelled "OI!". The sound of it echoed down the valley. "OI..OI..Oi..oi...oi.....oi.....". B was followed by a Weimaraner that she rescued. The dog had been locked in a flat and left to starve to death. B nursed him back to health, and now he's her constant companion and bodyguard. Woe betide anyone who makes any sudden moves near B when he's about.
B showed us round the cages, pointing out all the dogs by name. Some of them were up for adoption, but others she keeps because they have problems which wouldn't make good pets, so she tries to give them a good life at the centre. For example, Charlie. Some days, Charlie is a normal dog, and on others, he just sits in the middle of the floor and whines. It's apparently some sort of mental condition, but Charlie couldn't be trusted or would be too much trouble for the casual owner. Fortunately, for Charlie, he was rescued by B.
However, dogs are not the only ones who benefit from B's care. In the garden lives Bertie, the sheep. Bertie is about 3 feet tall and 7 feet long, and is enough to give the average collie second throughts about being a sheepdog. It's all show, though. Not long after we'd left, Bertie was attacked by a pack of dogs (none of B's, I hasten to add). He managed to survive the attack, but not without a few nasty injuries.
Unfortunately our time there was limited, and so we waved goodbye and set off back to Dublin. Our departure set off the dogs again, and as we climbed in the car all we could hear was loud barking fading into the distance, and then came a distant, echoing "OI!....OI..oi..oi...oi...oi!"
God help the burglar who tries to break into that house.