A day out with The Fox Man

I promised Pat Gibbons, The Fox Man, to take him to the Jerpoint Abbey some day. Pat lives outside Thomastown, five minute drive from the abbey, but he has never been there before. It took me a while, but I finally came over to pick him up a couple of weeks ago. It is when I learned that beautiful Gráinne, the fox perching on Pat’s shoulder, has died in her sleep, apparently of old age. Gráinne was twelve – it is how long the domesticated foxes can live. In the wild, however, they live 1-5 years.

Gráinne was Pat’s first fox. Pat’s brother-in-law found her dying inside a cardboard box, weighing just a pound. Since that day, Gráinne has had an amazing life – from the point of view of both a fox, and a human 🙂 She was a happy fox, never short of fruitcakes and vine gums 🙂 She starred in 12 movies! 

I asked Pat if there was a grave, on which he replied that he took her from the Nature, and returned her back to the Nature. There was an old tree with a big hole under the roots, he said, so he put Gráinne’s body in that hole.

Run free, beautiful!

Pat Gibbons foxes


Pat went to the pen to get Henry. Henry’s left eye never recovered and seems blind.

We took a few pictures.



Now it is Minnie’s turn to pose for a picture. Sweet old Minnie. She is ten this year.


Pat and his brother decided that we take a family picture of Minnie and their new dog.

This was the best we could get. All the dog wanted to do was either sniff Minnie’s butt or run to the road to watch my car in case it starts moving.

I hope to see you when I come again, Minnie.

The day continues. In my next blog post, we will visit some historical places with Pat The Fox Man.

There are some links for those who want to hear the fox story: 2014    2015   2015  2017   2018

www.inesemjphotography Have a wonderful weekend!


  1. Oh, Inese, it always makes me go all tingly and tearful with happiness whenever I read about Pat and his kindness to foxes. We have a knew litter of fox cubs that play in our garden at first light and sometimes sunbathe during the day when the dog is sleeping. They have already learned the best times to come and go, so they can share the territory without incident. When I was out walking the dog yesterday, a fox was ambling along a few yards in front of us, looking back over its shoulder every now and then, casual as anything. It knew my dog was on the lead, so it felt safe, although she didn’t seem to pay it much attention. If it had been a cat, things might have got more heated!

    1. Oh I remember you wrote about the fox family. Isn’t it amazing the way they settled somewhere close to your house. I bet all the animals would do so if we people did not chase and kill them. They just want to live.

      1. There are lots of fox families around here, and all different shades of fur from pale sand through to deep red with black and white trim! The foxes that visit my garden are all of the latter colouring. The more urban their territory, the more sandy the foxes seem to be.

          1. Perhaps nobody has written about it! It’s just something I’ve observed in my locality. Maybe I should research into it further and record some relevant data to back up my observations. I must ask someone from our local wildlife trust if they’ve noticed the same thing about our foxes.

    1. Thank you so much, Andrea! She was loved and had such a long life. I was happy to hear that she wasn’t sick a single day. She simply didn’t wake up one morning. Pat found another fox cub, but it didn’t survive his injuries.

    1. Thank you so much, Teija! I sometimes visit Pat when I am in the area. I wish it would happen more often. Hope all is well ❤

    1. Thank you. We had an eventful day – without foxes though. They had to stay home with Pat’s brother.
      I know they won’t live forever, but it is so sad Grainne is gone, and Minnie is old too. They are so special.

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