Pat Gibbons foxes

It is my second blog post about Patsy Gibbons and his foxes. In early April, almost 4 months ago, I went live with a blog post KINDNESS, amazed with my own boldness, and having a very little knowledge about blogging rules and ethics. Still learning.

That time Pat invited us to come again in summer when the foxes look gorgeous on the green meadow. Two weeks ago a friend of mine arranged a visit, but when he rang to confirm it Pat told him that he is in the hospital waiting for admission. They kept him in from Monday to Thursday; Pat’s brother fed the foxes, but they had to stay in their pen all this time, and they also missed their bath – a day when they all walk to the pond to get bathed. Needless to say, the foxes were upset, Pat wasn’t feeling well either, so this visit was short, and I left sad and worried .

Pat Gibbons foxes

Pat Gibbons foxes

Pat Gibbons foxes

This is Gráinne. She is an easy going, clever and curious lady, devoted to her master. Back in 2007 Pat’s brother-in-law Eugene was working in a storeroom and getting the cardboard boxes ready for shredding.  To his surprise he found a fox cub inside a box, malnourished, almost dead: it could be there some 10 days without food or water. Eugene brought the cub to Pat who had helped the troubled creatures before. It is how the story started. Pat consulted with a local vet, and the cub was estimated as a 5-7 weeks old, and weighed 1 pound. It was not easy to nurse the little miracle back to life and health, but they did it! The cub got a lovely name: Gráinne.

Pat Gibbons foxes

Pat Gibbons foxes

Pat Gibbons foxes

Average life span of a wild fox is 2-3 years although a fox can live 10 years. Gráinne is in her senior age, but you would never guess it. She looks very healthy and happy on her rescuer’s shoulders; she has had a long life of mutual love, adventures and little pleasures.  Gráinne run away twice, but was back for dinner the same day. How did she run away? She just snapped the leather leash when at walk. That easy, so if she wanted she could run away any time.

Pat Gibbons foxes

This is Minnie. Minnie is a bit of a drama queen. When we came into the pen, she was whimpering and howling, and putting on these funny faces, so that she had to be petted and rubbed and hugged all the way. Minnie is 5 years old. A woman from next village brought her to Pat when she was a month-old cub.

Pat Gibbons foxes

This is Henry, he is named after Kilkenny hurler Henry Shefflin. A man  brought him to Pat a year ago after his dogs attacked and mauled him. Pat thought he would have to put him down, so bad he was. His ligaments were cut, his head was severe injured, especially his bottom jaw and left eye. Pat nursed him back to health, but it took a while. Henry is a gentle and affectionate creature. Pat calls his female foxes “girls”, but Henry he calls “son”.

Pat Gibbons foxes

The foxes have a clean den with three separate compartments for privacy. Every fox has their favorite place on the shelves. In the evening they are brought into the cottage ( they are house-trained) along with Pat’s two dogs, and enjoy the time together watching TV or listening to Pat playing his harmonica. The foxes and the dogs are cuddling together, and actually the foxes feel more at ease when they go for a walk together with the dogs. Sometimes they get a snack – a biscuit or a wine gum. They adore the wine gums.

Pat Gibbons foxes

“You all right, son?” Patsy would ask and hug his little boy.

Pat Gibbons foxes

Henry’s left eye is still sore and probably will never get better. He is enjoying a few minutes in the sun and then Pat takes him back to the pen. Now it is the girls’ turn to go outside but Minnie has her drama moment 🙂

Pat Gibbons foxes

Minnie actually needs some extra exercises for her good, but she stalls and refuses to walk.

Pat Gibbons foxes

In the middle of this drama a car stops and people start taking pictures of Pat. It happens on a regular basic but Pat doesn’t like it. He would rather they stop, get out of their car, have a small talk and then take the pictures.

Pat Gibbons foxes

Minnie gets her way.

Pat Gibbons foxes

Pat Gibbons foxes

Patsy is getting his girls ready for the portrait:)

Pat Gibbons foxes

Look at Minnie’s face:) Drama in progress.

Pat Gibbons foxes

Patsy has a kind heart and angelic patience. Minnie is getting all his attention:)

Pat Gibbons foxes

Pat Gibbons foxes

Pat Gibbons foxes

Pat Gibbons foxes

Pat Gibbons foxes

We had a good chat, but look at Minnie’s eyes 🙂 Her face expression speaks for itself. Pat says that he should better take the foxes back to their pen.

I wish them many happy years together.

PS  I have found an article which says that a spokeswoman with Wildlife Rehabilitation Ireland has criticised the media for writing about Pat Gibbons and his foxes thus promoting a dangerous and irresponsible attitude towards the wild animals.  What do you think about it?


A blogger friend Aquileana, inspiring mythology expert and a lovely person has nominated me for a Versatile blogger award. I am very honored and grateful for the nomination, especially from Aquileana who is such a great example of knowledge and personal charisma.


Here are the Award Rules:

1) The nominee shall display the Versatile blogger Award logo on her/his blog.

2) The nominee shall nominate ten (10)  bloggers she/he admires, by linking to their blogs and informing them about it.

Here are the bloggers I nominate for this award. Please visit their blogs!

Keep great work going!

Photography tip of the day: Karl Taylor’s  10 minutes video.

inese_mj_photographyHave a great weekend!


  1. A lovely post again. I can’t believe the foxes like wine gum, that is pretty amazing I find. And I have to compliment you on the photos. Lovely compositions, colours are fantastic and the are so crips and clear.

    1. Thank you so much for your comment! These are rescued animals, and now a part of the family 🙂 They are not pets – if released they will run away as any wild animal does. Grainne run away once, but came back. Good that nothing happened to her: she could be killed by dogs, humans, or by some other wild foxes since she smells different.

  2. This was such a sweet tribute to a gentle fox friend and almost like Patsy is a fox whisperer! There is mutual respect and affection between them.
    Outstanding photographs and story.
    Congratulations on your nomination and well deserved, Inese.

  3. What a wonderful and informative post. I truly admire Patsy’s work and friendship with these beautiful and intelligent animals. Foxes have been so badly and wrongly treated by humans for so long. Fox hunting is an abomination, and I dread the day it become legal in th UK again. Patsy is a wonderful man to devote his life to their rehabilitation in Ireland. I hope Minnie takes her exercise routine a little more seriously. Thank you for an excellent post and Patsy’s wonderful photos. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for your comment! If everybody took time to think about the bad traditions that have to be ditched in the 21st century.
      Hope you will like the new post next week 🙂
      Have a happy weekend!

  4. Pat is an angel! His son and girls are adorable and obviously well cared for and loved completely. Your post made me smile and tear up a bit, as well. I hope Pat is on the mend, and the fox are back with their friend.

    I think it’s not irresponsible of the media to write about Pat and his foxes. He’s caring for the foxes who were brought to him sick and/or injured. He’s not promoting them, making money off of them or encouraging others to have foxes as pets! Hopefully, people can learn about foxes through Pat and learn that there are good people on this planet.

    What an amazing adventure for you! Thanks you so very much for a charming and insightful post. ❤

    1. Thank you so much for your comment! I am not the only one who read that silly article. A tourism related website from France recently posted a link to that article and a harsh comment. These foxes were not taken from the wild to be made pets. They were saved after being almost killed by people! Pat is an advocate for the wild foxes, not for the pet foxes.
      Thank you again, and have a happy weekend! ❤

  5. How beautiful! I am glad to read this post! I love the story and I love Foxes it is so beautiful that he is able to have them with him and trained as well is amazing! I am looking forward for your next post! 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for your comment! I thought that reblogging would be a good idea because I woudn’t have to repeat all the story again. Come back next week 🙂

  6. Reblogged this on inesemjphotography and commented:

    This week I visited Pat and his foxes again and took some photographs. I am reblogging my old blog post so that you can read the story again to refresh your memory 🙂 Next Friday I will share some news and pictures of this famous family.
    Information about the blogging rewards in the end of the post is outdated and belongs to my original post.
    Keep in touch! 🙂 Thank you for reading!

    1. Sheri, thank you so much for your kind words! You are the one who inspired me to do more.
      I had written about 10 short posts offline before I went live with a post about Pat and his foxes on April 6. I hope to visit him again in October. It is fun that I already got a telephone call from a person who caught a young fox in their chicken coop and asked if Pat wouldn’t have him. We agreed that the best she could do was taking the fox into the woods. Healthy and capable animal belongs to their habitat.
      Thank you again for your kind comments.

      1. Inese – Keep up the great work. You are a natural with your blogging skills. Your photography is some of the best I see and your ability to weave in a story adds an element pulling everything together that often escapes others. You have a depth of knowledge that never ceases to amaze me.
        BTW – I couldn’t gather herbs next to my wildflower garden last night due to the large number of honey bees in my wildflower garden. I didn’t want to disturb the bees and smiled when I saw them and of course thought of you. I’ve talked with my neighbor as he’d expressed an interest in building hives. Looks like my wildflowers will prompt him to go ahead with his plans. I’ll keep you informed.

        1. Thank you so much, Sheri!
          It is wonderful that the bees know your garden and can get some pollen without travelling miles.
          I am sure that people who sell the bees can give all the advice necessary to start out. It would be fun if your neighbors got a hive. My son-in-law has two hives 🙂

  7. Beautiful pictures as always, but also what a character this man….in a good way that is.
    By the way, don´t the fox´s are a bit dangerous once they grow up.

    1. Hi, thanks for stopping by! Oh he is amazing, and so sensitive to the Nature. These foxes are tamed. In my profile picture I am holding Minnie, she loves attention:)

  8. I love what he has done for the far as any critics…would their solution be to let them die.. Pat is an amazing Man and I love that you shared this with us all! Heart to Heart Robyn

    1. Robyn – thank you for supporting Pat. In fact, there are only two people so far who expressed their negative attitude. So, it is not too bad for seven years of a good example:)
      My best wishes, Inese

  9. I enjoyed reading about the foxes and Patsy. I hope that by now, he continues to feel much better.

    About the Rehab group article criticizing Patsy and media that wrote about Patsy: How is showing human kindness to other living beings “promoting a dangerous and irresponsible attitude towards the wild animals”? We should all have the heart and kindness that Patsy has expressed to animals that may have otherwise died without his help. I have not read that article but I have to say that criticizing anyone doesn’t help matters. I understand that there is a certain way one is supposed to treat nature and wild animals. However, it doesn’t have to necessarily be that way all the time. There are always exceptions to the rules. And instead of criticizing others, if this group is a true authority figure of wildlife care, all they have to do is extend a hand in educating the public on what to do. Instead of criticizing well-intentioned people who are doing the best they can to help wild animals in need, all this organization has to do is to encourage possible volunteers (like Patsy) on how to care for the wild animals that they find. If I remember from the article I read in your first post, Patsy worked with a vet in trying to give the best care that he could to the foxes. My humble opinion is that Patsy did not intentionally promote a “dangerous and irresponsible attitude” toward the foxes. So, my question to this group is instead of finding blame in others, what have they done to encourage and teach the next person who would like to help wild animals. I think they most likely just trying to get a bit of publicity for themselves, but their article is NOT the correct way to do it. Sorry for the long comment. 🙂

    P.S. Congrats on your award from the wonderful Aquileana! Well deserved! :

    1. Thank you so much for this comment! I will find the article where this response was mentioned. It was an article in some National paper which brought this harsh response from the mentioned organisation, and also the fact that the local school invited Patsy and his foxes to teach the school kids about the wild animals ( exactly what you are talking about). All that made the Rehabilitation people mad. I would say that they just got jealous that this idea to cooperate with Pat wasn’t theirs. I was very upset reading that. It is when I decided to go and see him and the foxes by myself.
      Thank you again! Have a good weekend!:)

      1. Yes. Unfortunately, the Rehab folks are just jealous. And there’s no reason to be. Shame on them! I hope Patsy has a good support system. I’m sure he does. I also hope he’s able to get help in the near future, so that next time he is sick, there is someone who knows the routine of caring for the foxes and can care for them like Pat, when he’s away. That way, the foxes won’t miss their normal activities, etc…. I’m sending Pat good thoughts! 🙂

        1. Thank you for your kind words! They trust him, and even that almost everybody can hold and pet them, I think it is only Pat with whom they would feel safe to go outside their den. You are right though, he has to train them to go for a walk with his brother, just in case.

    1. No Hattie, usually she is all right:) She is a bit overweight and she really needs some exercises for her health, and Pat makes sure she walks every day. They do walk, together with the dogs, but these days everything is different… First of all, Patsy was away four days. It never happened before. No walks, no bath. And also I think that they can feel his worry, and his health problems too. Minnie likes attention, but this time it was too much:) It looked very funny, all the faces she made and all her body language, but I could see that the foxes were different this time, and we just gave them some rubbing but didn’t pick them up, not to put more pressure on them. Pat says that he feels better now. So hopefully their routines will continue as normal.

  10. This was a beautiful post – the images were spot-on and a lovely story. People like Pat should be commended for taking the time to care for injured animals.

    1. So agree with you, and thank you for stopping by! You should see them together, such an example for all humans.
      Have a great weekend!

    1. Thank you for reading Andrea. I too don’t see any problem, but this was a response to an article in March this year, shortly before my first blog post. A very official response from an organisation I have never heard anything about before. I believe they do something sometimes, but I have never heard them educate the society. I think they have to sort out their own business first. Thanks again for your comment, have a great weekend!

  11. Gorgeous photos and a heartwarming post!

    I don’t know about your side of the Pond, but here in the U.S. it’s almost impossible to find an animal rehab establishment that will take “nusiance” animals. We found an infant raccoon and took care of him until he was able to eat by himself and then it took weeks to find someone to reintroduce him into the wild. Let the Wildlife Rehabilitation people grumble. This man rescued dying animals – he didn’t run to the pet store and buy a trendy, “exotic” pet!

    1. I so agree with you! No one would take these animals, no rehabilitation centre. And after he nursed them, would he give them away? They have a bond stronger than some humans may have.
      I will make a research about this centre anyway to learn what good they have done.
      Great you helped that baby raccoon. Probably it wouldn’t make a dent in raccoon population if that little creature died, but it would make a dent in your humanity, right? My best wishes,

  12. Super-dooper cool, Inese! 🙂 That has to be fun for all involved.
    I bet Pat and his pets turn a lot of heads on their strolls about town.

  13. Pingback: FOX NEWS | Gugni
  14. Hi Inese.

    Thank you so much for this lovely little award. I just got word about it this morning from the WP app on my phone, and I gladly accept. In fact I’m writing the article at the same time as this comment. Multitasking huh!
    Also a beautiful article on the relationship between a man and his foxes. He clearly is devoted to them and its especially touching that he took them in when they were in a bad way and has always been there for them. Here in London, I often see urban foxes. I’ve seen them skulking down the streets late at night, I’ve seen a fox perched on someone’s garage. Recently I saw this extra cute fox cub running in and out of the premises of the printing press opposite my residence, but I have never seen a perfect and mutual symbiosis between people and foxes before. Well done Pat!!.

    1. Thank you so much for this comment! Yes, humanity has spread, and feeling superior people don’t think that they have taken somebody’s territory, especially if this “somebody” is just a wild animal… I also know that some people keep the foxes as pets, and sell them too… If you see a cute cub, let him walk away: if you touch him the other foxes might kill him because of the human smell. Pat didn’t take a healthy fox out of the natural habitat. He saved a dying animal. Thank you again for accepting the nomination and for your kind words. Have a great weekend!

  15. very nice story about people wearing her heart in right place…your story and shots included…good luck to Patsy & the red bunch…
    incredible at our location, cause of too many huntsman in our district…
    they’re killing all that moves…
    best wishes to IE as before…

    1. Thank you for your kind words! It is the same here, all the hunting.
      You know The Little Prince? He once said: You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.
      Have a wonderful weekend!

  16. I’ve only seen one here in the wild and that was quite a while ago – I believe the constant construction on South Florida has eliminated these poor creatures.

    1. Thank you for stopping by. I have seen them in urban area, they are trying to survive, but as in this story, they are mauled by dogs, get trapped in rubbish, hit by cars… And then one day they are gone… I don’t blame the dogs here, you know:)

    1. Thank you for your kind comment! You are so right, the love is palpable there. This man is a story himself.
      Have a great weekend! 🙂 Inese

  17. Hi Inese.

    Wow you are in Ireland! I didn’t realise that. (I see you are in Co. Tipperary, now I have looked!) I normally just look at people’s photos as I am suffering from a chronic illness that affects my concentration and reading and writing are quite a challenge for me. I struggle to do my blog, so may not be up to doing the award stuff, though I am very honoured to be nominated. My sister and her husband and two kids live in Dublin. We are Aussies. She is coming to visit us next week for the first time n 2 years and the first time ever without the kids.

    I was enthralled by this story and made sure that my Mum (with whom I live and who cares for me along with my Dad) had a look at all the photos. We are big dog fanatics, so anything to do with dog like creatures like foxes and wolves is fascinating for us.


    Best wishes to you. Katherine

    1. So glad you like the story, Katherine! I know many Irish who emigrated to Australia, but only one girl who emigrated from Australia:) How did it happen that your sister has moved to Ireland? She must be married with an Irishman?
      Hope that you have more good moments than bad moments and keep doing your blog. You are amazing! I know that your example inspires the others who suffer and struggle. You deserve any possible award ever.
      My best wishes and thought to you!

  18. Great gallery of photos, dear Inese.
    You did a great job over here. 😀
    Also thanks for linking to my blog, as regard to your newest award and congratulations on it.
    Best wishes, happy weekend ahead to you,
    Aquileana 😛

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