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YOLO COUNTY NEWS

365体育投注Sure ’tis true that Alfie had the luck o’ the Irish when he found his pot of gold with Nick and Willow Boone! Courtesy photo

Paws for Thought: St. Patrick, the original dog whisperer

365体育投注St. Patrick’s Day 2020 has come and gone, but did you give a hearty toast to the good saint’s devotion and dog training skills? Yes, St. Pat was a dog whisperer as well as a legendary snake charmer.

Born a Scot in 387 AD, named Maewyn Succat, raised a Catholic, captured by marauding pagans at 16, he was taken to Ireland where he was sold into slavery.

For six years, Succat tended sheep with only his favorite sheepdog to talk to about Christianity. One night this faithful dog appeared to him as an angel and told him to run away. When he awoke, he took the sheep back to town and ran to the coast of Ireland. There he met pagan pirates with a shipload of very large fierce and unruly Irish wolfhounds they’d stolen.

Unable to control the hounds, they could not set sail. Seeing their dilemma, Succat offered to calm the hounds in exchange for safe travel on their ship. Skeptical but with no alternative, the pagan pirates agreed. In a jiffy, Succat performed his first miracle by calming the beasts and off he went with the pagan pirates.

Unfortunately, the ship was wrecked off the uninhabited northwest coast of Gaul and everyone was soon starving. The pagan pirates taunted Patrick telling him if his Christian god was all-powerful why couldn’t he provide them with food? All that night Succat prayed while the skeptical pagans slept. The next morning a herd of wild boars appeared and Succat set the hounds on them. After a hearty breakfast, the satiated pagan pirates were so impressed they converted to Christianity.

365体育投注On the continent, Succat became a priest and changed his name to Patricius or Patrick. Twenty years later he returned to Ireland as a missionary. There he saw the Irish pagan prince Dichu hunting with his savage war dog, Lauth.

Dichu set Lauth on Patrick, but when Patrick spoke softly to the Irish wolfhound it went into a down-stay and licked Patrick’s hand. Prince Dichu was so impressed he gave Patrick a barn to be converted into a church and commanded his troops and vassals to permit Patrick and his priests free passage across Ireland.

As a final gesture of goodwill towards our canine companions, Irish folklore has it that Patrick allowed the legendary Irish hero Oissain to take his hounds to heaven with him. Now that’s nothing short of a miracle!

Seventeen centuries later, it is still true that being in tune with dogs and training them well can be a great benefit to you and others whether or not you are shipwrecked and in need of food. So who knows what miracles you and a well-behaved canine companion might do in the 21st century.

Happy Tails

365体育投注Alfredo’s adoption was the small miracle that was meant to be. Recovering from having his front left leg amputated, he was being taken out for a short walk at the Front Street Animal Shelter.

365体育投注As the young terrier exited the building, he came face to face with Nick, who’d had one of his legs amputated and was looking to adopt a special needs canine companion. It was bond at first sight and the rest is one very happy tale for Alfredo, Nick and Willow Boone. The three of them now live in Elk Grove where there’s fresh air and plenty of wide-open spaces.

365体育投注A few days after Alfredo’s adoption in November, Willow wrote, “Hello, hello! He’s doing amazing! The first morning he was able to see the property, and he just sat and you could tell he was taking it all in. I’ve been doing nightly massage and therapy with CBD oil on his back legs. And his personality is really starting to shine. We have his first vet check up on Monday.”

365体育投注Recently, Willow wrote, “Alfredo is doing fantastic! He’s healed up so well that he’s now out running with the cattle dog our family has on the property. A usual day for Alfie is waking up and cuddling with Nick, then running and playing fetch before digging for gophers. He comes into my work every day, and not only do my coworkers love him; but some of our regular customers know him by name now, too! Our cat Tortellini and he have started to cuddle up during naptime as well.”

— “Evelyn Dale of Davis is a volunteer and advocate for shelter animal welfare. Contact her at [email protected] This column appears monthly.”

CalMatters


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