On our second night in Dublin we met Seamus Conroy. In the space of fifteen minutes he told us three jokes and advised us to stop by Johnnie Fox’s Traditional Irish Pub.

While we didn’t make it there, we made a friend. Not a day has gone by since making his acquaintance that he hasn’t e-mailed a quick note. Often there is a poem involved. On the day I planned to write about Galway City, he coincidentally sent me the lyrics to a song with Galway in the title. I Googled it and found this lovely rendition by Eleanor Shanley, recorded live at the Temple Bar Pub in Dublin:

I look forward to my new buddy’s messages, but was saddened when ten days ago he wrote that his dog had to be put to sleep, as he put it, “after fourteen years of walking me around the parks and roads.” I love that he wrote the dog walked him instead of the other way around.

For those of us who love our pups, there is not much harder than to see that relationship come to an end. So for you, Seamus, I hope you are beginning to deal with your grief, and that sweet memories of your girl comfort you in the days to come.

Thorns may hurt you, men desert you, sunlight turn to fog;
but you’re never friendless ever, if you have a dog.

                                                                                        –Douglas Mallock