A HEART-BROKEN mother was deeply consoled this week when the actions of a Limerick city family demonstrated to her that kindness and honesty are not things of the past.
Marion O’Connor from Tralee had been distraught since the theft, two months ago, of Minnie, the chihuahua which had been her son Brian’s pet and constant companion until his tragic death by suicide earlier this year.
But an article about her plight which appeared in the Limerick Leader has now led to Minnie’s safe return home.
“It’s a pure miracle,” Marion said this week as she wondered at the series of events which culminated in the reunion.
But she is immensely grateful to the Limerick family who responded to the article - and hugely impressed by their sense of honour. “They have great heart,” she said.
Minnie was taken by a couple of children from Marion’s yard in Tralee in early September but Marion was convinced the dog had been handed on to a relative in the Patrickswell area by the children’s father. However, an investigation by Gardai and a visit to the area following a tip-off came to a dead-end. And in desperation, Marion appealed for help to Limerick Leader readers.
Last week, a young girl in Limerick started researching on-line for dogs’ clothes. She was the happy owner of a new pet, a chihuahua, bought for her by her dad and which she called Candy.
But the eleven-year-old wanted to buy some new things for the dog which the family had been told was three-years-old.
However, her online search brought up one unexpected item which caught her attention. It was this newspaper’s report about Marion’s missing Minnie – and a photograph of Minnie with Brian.
Taking up the story, Marion explained that the little girl immediately called her mother’s attention to the article and to her belief that Minnie looked very like “her” dog. And straightaway, she insisted that the family set about making contact with the Limerick Leader and this reporter in order to check it out.
Within 24 hours of that phone call, Marion travelled to an agreed meeting point in Askeaton – and discovered that Candy was indeed Minnie.
“Minnie knew me straightaway,” Marion said, adding that the dog was none the worse for her adventures. But she also knew that parting with the dog was very hard on the little girl, who clearly had loved Minnie and taken very good care of her. “I could see her crying butI told her I would help her to get another chihuahua,” Marion said afterwards. And she paid tribute to the family who have chosen not to be named. “Another family might have ignored the story but they didn’t,” Marion said with feeling.
For Marion, and for her daughter Karena, the return of Minnie is a huge consolation as they continue to mourn and to miss Brian.
Minnie was an important link to Brian for both of them, Marion explained. “He is a comfort to me.”