Year of The Dog

Not exactly now, but soon in February the world will enter the Year of the Dog. Earlier this year I visited the Deise Animal Sanctuary in Ballymacarbry, Co Waterford to take some pictures for this blog post. Here is a link to their Facebook page.  The page is active, and a phone number is also available on the page for those who want to come over or donate.

This is Patricia Edwards. Pat. She and her partner Rob came to Ireland from the UK 20 years ago. Pat and Rob have a small holding in the Comeragh mountains where they established The Deise Animal Sanctuary about decade ago. Pat used to work as an Animal Health Trading Standards inspector in Wales, and she is familiar with the matters related to animal welfare. It is certainly very useful, but the greatest thing about Pat is her big heart and unconditional love towards all creatures.

Many kinds of abused, neglected and abandoned animals and birds found their way to this happy place. I am a cat person, so I asked about cats and learned that there were fifty cats at the moment, most of them sleeping in the barn till the evening meal. Some day I will come back and write a proper blog about all the residents, but this is just a short Dog Post from a Cat person who wishes some happiness in the Yang Earth Dog Year as anyone else does.

The dogs have plenty of space to run and play in the afternoon. When I came to the Sanctuary, most of the dogs were locked in their enclosure, and started barking as I approached. There were probably twenty or more dogs inside, and some more dogs followed me from the gate. Pat told me to open the enclosure and get in to take photographs. As I went in, all the dogs, big and small, came closer and instead of taking pictures I was patting their backs and rubbing their heads for another half and hour. I was in tears. I could see the signs of abuse and mistreat, and Pat also told me some horror stories about how some dogs were rescued and what they had been through, and it just broke my heart to see the trust and love to a stranger these dogs expressed. I felt so ashamed for my species.

After all the interested got their share of cuddling and ear and head rubbing, I walked around and took some pictures.














A couple of dogs were locked – quarantine?

And this young pup was also locked. I don’t know what he went through, but I didn’t see any trust in his eyes. He probably needs some time to forgive.

On my way home I was thinking about all these lucky survivors who ended up in the Dog Paradise here in Comeraghs, and about those unlucky ones who died of neglect and abuse, or were euthanized because they had injuries not compatible with life. The legislation related to the animal welfare in Ireland has to be revised as cruelty to animals is on the rise.

They say that a Year of The Dog is generally an eventful year of good changes in mentality and lifestyle. A step up for humanity. Let’s hope that 2018 won’t be any different and all the changes we face are positive and beneficial to us. Please, 2018, be a good dog! 😉

Happy New Year to all my fellow bloggers! ❤

PS For the next six months I am planning to blog every second week.

www.inesemjphotography.comHave a great New Year party! 🙂


  1. I hope you get back to write about the cats sometime, too Inese. You are right that we can sometimes act in despicable ways. Cruelty to animals comes close to the top of the list of horrible human acts. 😢

    1. Thank you so much, I hope to write about cats in July (a guest-blog), so I will go to the sanctuary again. Cruelty against animals is a disgrace to our society.

  2. Thanks for sharing this and the previous post on the Donkey farm. As humans, we like to give each animal a quality that (in all likelihood) is only understood by us. I doubt a donkey thinks it’s dumb or the lion knows it’s the King. I wonder how animals see us? What goes on in their minds? What names do they call us? 🙂 We’re not winning them over anytime soon — if we keep making the same mistakes. 😦

    1. So true 🙂 Poor donkey is unlucky to be branded by us as dumb and treated with no respect. In fact, he is actually very smart. He refuses doing things because he knows they are not good for him. Too heavy, to dangerous etc. Animals seldom make mistakes, not like us humans who are literally made of mistakes 😉

    1. I was thinking of visiting Pat, but it is impossible these days for many reasons. You know, I am not a fan of sharing things with the world at large .. It is sufficient to say that I will probably visit him in June – July. Last autumn they were all right.

      1. I totally agree with the non-facebook attitude. 🙂 Some things are best left unsaid. Having said that… I wish you the best possible recovery. In due time. June-july is but a few months away. And morale is an important part of any recovery. And your friends are here to support you. Take care my dear.

        1. Thank you Brian. The morale sometimes fails, and has to be picked up. Such is life. One more post in February, for my 4th Blogging Anniversary, and then a break. I will be fine, but extra efforts take a toll.

          1. Understandably so. If it is any solace, I feel the same some morning or other. 🙂 And eventually one picks up the morale. Have a nice uplifted week Inese.

        1. Love is love, doesn’t matter how small is the object 🙂
          Last year wasn’t easy, and a half of this year will disappear for me, but I hope I will be back to normal in the middle of the year ❤

  3. Happy new year, Inese. And I agree, I hope things get better, somehow I feel that is right… that we have better conscience than previous years. Dogs and cats cand love us and we have to try to correspond their kindness to us with kindness.

      1. I am taking my time. The other problem that week was the wp reader would not load except in Chrome, then when it did, it would hardly let me like any posts and I just thought, I can’t faff with this today xxxxxx

        1. It think it is a recurring problem. How often I see that I have read a post ( and even commented on it!), but my ‘like’ is gone. Happens on a regular basis xxxxxxxxxxx

        2. It does indeed. My reader was opening something like five blogs. Now I could switch to email notifications but then my inbox gets totally swamped. It is working better now. Mike Steeden said he had been having problems too.

          1. They always make changes that are the most annoying. I was always getting notifications once a week, on Mondays. This option is not there any more.

  4. Ines, your photos bring out their tortured souls and spirit for life and hunger for love. A heart wrenching visit but also positive in the help they are now receiving and the location looks stunning. Wishing you a very Happy New Year. Xx

  5. Happy New Year, Inese! I’m not surprised you were touched by these dogs and their stories. Spending any amount of time with a dog always makes me feel like we have a special bond; of course, I’m a dog person so I may be biased, but I feel like all dogs are lovable.

    1. Thank you Carolee! I think all creatures are lovable, especially when they are in need of compassion. Your heart just breaks in pieces when you look into all these eyes.

  6. Wonderful post Inese. You can actually see the pain in their eyes. But at the same time they know and feel relieved to be rescued. Amazing work these people are doing!

    1. Thank you Mithai! Some of the dogs were rescued from their abusers, but some were pampered and loved before their owners got bored and dumped them. I think it makes a big difference. Pat is an angel with enough love to heal any wound, visible and invisible.

      1. Yes it does make a huge difference. Pat is truly contributing great deal to the world, one dog at a time. I’m sure soon all the dogs will embrace the love and leave their past behind.

  7. Sorry, I arrived late to this post as I saw you comment on a post but missed all the many kind “likes” you left, Inese.
    Dogs, cats and small animals and birds get my pity and some donations. They deserve a blog post like this, showing they just need to be fed, given water and Love.
    Hope you have a lovely, healthy and blessed New Year, Inese. xo ❤

      1. Thanks for the many blessings sent my way, dear and special friend.
        My heart goes out when I drive past cats in fields, sitting for a mouse to come along. Take care and you are in my prayers. May you be safe, healthy and happy. XO 💖

  8. Once again your pictures tell a thousand stories….and you have captured so beautifully the essence of these beautiful animals. May the coming Year of the Dog bring good things for all animals and human being alike. Good health and peace. Janet :)x

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