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)

        1. It was some 30 years ago πŸ™‚ I think I did take some AB. I was babysitting the cat and he just got scared and clawed my face πŸ™‚

  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.

    1. Thank you! πŸ™‚ Yes, all is well, I just visited my daughter and her family for a couple of weeks. All my time belonged to my little ones πŸ™‚ xx

  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. ❀️

    1. Thank you so much, Rose. Ah, if only I could lead a charmed life πŸ™‚ But I sure pick up whatever charming thing I get close to πŸ˜‰ ❀

  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™‚

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