Thomastown FOX NEWS

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

Pat is getting his girls ready for the portrait:)

Pat Gibbons foxes

Look at Minnie’s face. What a drama! 🙂

Pat Gibbons foxes

Pat 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 🙂 Her facial 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?

***

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

inese_mj_photographyHave a great weekend!

87 comments

  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 animals..as 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

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