Hello from the Foxes

Grainne the Fox

As I was driving through Thomastown last month, I thought I could stop by at Pat Gibbons’ house and get the latest updates. Those who don’t know Pat The Fox Man, can read his story here. This story has been copied and pasted so many times that I gave up being annoyed.

Fortunately, Pat was home, we spent a few minutes visiting and went to the fox pen. It was about 4 pm, one hour before the foxes are let inside for the evening, and I didn’t want to make them upset by dragging them out for a picture. Minnie was already whining, overreacting like the drama queen she is. Nothing is ever right for poor Minnie πŸ™‚

Minnie the Fox

It took a lot of flattering ( ‘who’s a good girl?’) and a prolonged shoulder massage to get her to lift her ‘ cheerful’ face to me for a picture. Not that I am complaining here. Minnie is all soft and lovely, and it is only a pleasure petting her thick silky fur.

Minnie the Fox

Divas are allowed to have a bad day. When she is ready, you behold a star πŸ™‚

Pat and his foxes

Two years ago Minnie got pregnant by Henry. Pat was not in condition to care for another fox, and a woman from Kilkenny adopted the kit. I asked Pat how was the little fox doing. Visibly saddened by the question Pat said that the kit has died. He recons it was something about food. Fox is neither a dog nor a cat. Pat gives them chicken legs and beef mince, but they also have ‘extras’ like snails, worms, wild berries.

Pat speaks about commitment and dedication one must have if they plan on keeping a rescued fox. Foxes are creatures of habit and they need their routine. Every day at 5 pm Pat brings them into the house, and it has to be 5pm, sharp.

Recently their friend, the old dog Blackie, was hit by car and died. Pat got a new pup, this time a snow white one, but the foxes don’t mind the color πŸ™‚ The pup is very playful which is just fine with the foxes.

Pat Gibbons

Henry wasn’t in a good mood and run away from us to his enclosure. A couple of month ago he bit Pat’s hand. As Pat explains, he was picking him up and accidentally pressed on his bad paw. It was just a reaction, and Henry himself was probably terrified, as he is so gentle and sweet. Pat got blood poisoning and had to spent 6 days in the hospital. No hard feelings though. Henry got 60 stitches on his head and body when he was mauled by dogs, Pat explains. He must have very sore paw as his leg never straightened out. The dogs badly mauled his jaw and his left eye.

Henry the fox

Beautiful Grainne sits in her favorite corner. Each fox has their favorite place in the pen. She is about 12, and has a lot of silver in her fur, but she is still playful, and performs her usual tricks on demand.

Grainne the Fox

Grainne the Fox

Good girl!

Grainne the Fox

This is an old picture I took of Grainne and Minnie.

Pat and his foxes

Pat often takes them out to Thomastown. Foxes walk on a leash and stop to let people pet them. Meanwhile, Pat shares his thoughts on the wild life preservation. The foxes sometimes get invited to schools. Recently they got a shop opening ceremony invitation.

After leaving the fox pen we talk for another few minutes, and hiding behind the grass, I take some pictures of Pat’s gorgeous chickens.









The puppy cannot wait for me to start my car – it will be the highlight of his day πŸ™‚ Thankfully, he doesn’t jump on the road.

I hope to see them all in December.

Pat Gibbons

My other blog posts about Pat and his foxes:





www.inesemjphotography.comΒ Have a fantastic weekend!


  1. Great post! I’m so glad you managed to go back and see the foxes and your friend.
    Blood poisoning? OMG! I did get badly bit by our cat Mao Dzedong once. (Reaction to an injection at the vet… Stupid. The vet!) I did have to take antibiotics.
    Cat’s (and dog’s) saliva is full of germs. I guess foxes too.

    1. Yes, Pat got a very bad case of blood poisoning, his life was in danger. But he doesn’t blame Harry who has probably been constantly in pain since his rescue.
      Oh I just imagine the scene at the vet. Poor Mao was scared. I got bitten by a scared cat too.

      1. Agreed. It almost never is the animal’s fault. It is just a reaction to fear or pain. Poor things.
        And what happened with the bite? Did you take Antibiotics? (Always recommended with cats)

  2. The foxes! I simply do not understand how anyone can fail to love them, and wish to protect them. I think the ones who make sport of killing them have a deficit in essential empathy.

  3. Wow, such beautiful animals and to be able to have this opportunity to see them and photograph them up close…it makes for an incredible post πŸ™‚ Really an incredibly beautiful animal, would be great to have this experience you had! Hope all is going well, Inese, and wish you a great week ahead.

    1. Thank you! Sorry for the late reply – I have been to see my little ones, and spent all my time with them πŸ™‚
      These foxes are celebrities. People from around the world come to visit them, and Grainne had also been in a movie – they sent a helicopter to take her to Scotland πŸ™‚
      Have a great weekend, Randall. What part of the world are you residing in these days?

      1. Hi Inese, nothing quite like spending time with family πŸ™‚ I am back from the States after just doing so, nothing quite like it. Back in Czech and enjoying the coming autumn.

  4. Foxes are such beautiful creatures. I love how you introduced them. What a wonderful task, to care for these animals. The chickens are beautiful too! By the way, I showed the pictures to my daughter, Zoe. She loves foxes and has several stuffed ones. Lots of awwes over here. ;D

  5. Pat has the patience and disposition of a saint. I always love seeing your fox friends and hearing about their kind keeper. What a charmed life you lead, dearest Inese! My heart swells reading this lovely post. ❀️

  6. I’ve never been up close to a fox, I suspect it’d be quite interesting as they take the measure of you and you of them. And having the henhouse next door, there is a certain irony to that. Lovely pics, as always.

    1. Thank you Dave! Sorry for the late reply. I have been away for a couple of weeks.
      All creatures need the same thing – food and safety, but when someone is a food, they won’t ever be safe πŸ™‚ Foxes and chicken, lions and lamb, you name it πŸ˜‰

  7. Oh, these lovelies….while I’m not keen on having a cat, or even keeping a dog, there’s something about these foxes that makes me yearn to keep one. πŸ™‚ xxxxxxxxxxx

  8. We started feeding a local fox with scraps each night a while back. Now he brings the whole family of youngsters up to our garden. The surrounding farmers think we’re mad – but well-fed foxes are no harm to livestock, so we’re doing our neighbours a favour. Some of our cats regularly eat a few scraps alongside the foxes. There is no animosity. I must try to get a photo of the dining ritual when they trigger the sensor spotlight. On one occasion five foxes and three cats shared the buffet.

    1. Sorry for the late reply – I have been away.
      It is amazing that your cats mingle with the wild foxes. If your neighbors neglect mending holes in their chicken coops, no buffet will help them I guess, but you are right, the well fed foxes will sleep rather than hunt πŸ™‚

  9. Thanks for sharing your visit with us. I can’t imagine seeing a fox for a walk on a leash but your photos of them reminded me of cats. Pat is a patient man. And his chickens are beautiful and your caught them elegantly.

    1. Thank you so much! I hid myself behind the grass to take the pictures of the chicken for a fancier look πŸ™‚
      The foxes walk free in the house. The leash is for their own safety, whether they like it or not, because if they run away they will sure die.

    1. Thank you Cynthia! Sorry for the late reply, I was away. Yes, it is amazing the way they all live together. I wish all of us could follow the example πŸ™‚

  10. I love your photos of the shy foxes, Inese. They’re so beautiful. And your photos of chickens make them look gorgeous. I never knew chickens were so photogenic! Lol. Thanks for the smile. πŸ™‚

  11. I have often wondered why we as a civilisation have never bothered to try to tame and domesticate foxes as we have done with hounds and cats. These creatures are stunning, as is evident from your photos, and I just can’t help but wonder what it would be like to have a fox nestled in the pillows of my sofa like my dog is right now.

    1. Sorry for the late reply, I have been away for a few weeks.
      There should be some reasons. I have no idea what the dog and cat ancestors looked like and what were their habits. I guess that food is the matter as foxes cannot survive on human, cat or dog food.
      I have seen a youtube videos from a guy who owns a fox and keeps it in his house. His fox is actually quite crazy. Not much cuddling and nestling in the pillow πŸ™‚ Pat’s foxes play with his dog, but he never mentioned them ruining his house though πŸ™‚

          1. How very nice of them to do that….. It was terrible, that storm. We took a beating here. Glad you had a lovely trip. You will have special memoires of seeing your precious ones.

  12. Wonderful Post! Love to see the foxes again along with Pat. The photographs of the chickens made me smile. All those plump birds in close proximity to the foxes. g

    1. Thank you so much! Sorry for the late reply – I have been away visiting my daughter and her family.
      Chicken are the funniest πŸ™‚ They always make me smile.

  13. The foxes are beyond beautiful! I know I’ve read at least 1 other foxes post, if not all. I’ll check them out!
    Oh, the chickens are gorgeous!!!

    1. Thank you so much, Resa! I read your Nine Black Lives book during my flight πŸ™‚ It is the most intriguing piece of detective literature I have read in years! You are a star! xx

  14. I’ve been wondering how Pat and the foxes are recently, thanks so much for letting us know and share yet again your wonderful pictures, Inese! And divas for every right to have had days, as do we all in fact.πŸ˜‰ And I’m so sorry about Pat’s dog. And I also remember those gorgeous chickens! πŸ˜„
    Have a beautiful weekend, dear friend! Xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    1. Sorry for the late reply Sarah – I was away with my daughter’s family. Once a year, you know. All my time belonged to my babies πŸ™‚
      Thank you for remembering the chickens πŸ™‚ I adore chickens! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  15. What a lovely visit, to Pat. It is very of you to post how Pat’s foxes are doing. I read about them and they are not easy to be domesticated. Pat’s foxes seem to really like living with him and they look happy. It is great to know that fox can also be on lease. I thought they were like cat in this regard. A very nice post!

    1. Sorry for the late reply, I was visiting my daughter and her family. Yes, it is amazing how the foxes can be tamed. Pat got them as babies, very badly damaged, almost dead. He and his dogs have been their family. The leash is for their safety – if they run away, they will sure die.

  16. Poor old Henry! He does look in a bit of a state. 😦 I had no idea foxes were such creatures of habit. A walking friend has family in Thomastown. I’ll have to ask her if they know Pat. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    1. It wasn’t a good time for a visit πŸ™‚ They usually sleep at this time before being invited inside for a snack and TV show. Minnie and Henry are the ones you could pick up and pet, and they wouldn’t mind it at all. As to the chickens – I adore chickens πŸ™‚

  17. What a delightful story of the foxes and the pics and also the pics of the chickens. Thank you for bringing us such nice stories to enjoy. I know it takes effort putting up a post depending on how big the post is. I just wanted to say thank you for all your efforts.

      1. Not a problem. Taking a break from WordPress at the moment. Don’t know how long I’ll be. Family visiting. You know what they say if you wannt to see how enlightened on your journey you have become spend a week with your family. Love the fox story. Hope you are well.

        1. True in many ways πŸ™‚ My daughter is my best friend, we enjoy each others company and a good laugh. Spent some time in the wilderness with no internet or mobile – it was wonderful πŸ™‚

            1. The sky full of stars, a deer nibbling on the leaves right across the cabin windows, chipmunks and squirrels chatting in the trees, still mountain lake, gorgeous sunsets… Things to reflect upon during the grey Irish winter months πŸ™‚

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