Michael, who couldn't eat or sleep for a week after Duke's disappearance is reunited with his beloved pet by Marita Davis
A pensioner said getting his four-legged friend back after the dog was stolen from a woman’s arms was as good as the All-Ireland win.
Micheal Kearney, aged 71, from Tipperary Town said he hardly slept or ate for a week because he was so worried over his Jack Russell Terrrier, Duke.
His beloved pooch was returned to him after he was seen being thrown from a moving car in Caherconlish. Limerick Animal Welfare and West Limerick Animal Aid combined to return Duke, called after John Wayne’s nickname, to Micheal’s grateful arms.
It all started when Duke wandered from his home on Monday, September 26.
“He strayed up the town which he shouldn’t have done. Duke was not too far away from my house but still further than he should have been. This kind lady came across him and knew that he belonged to me. She picked him up in her arms and was going to give me a ring because I have my phone number on his collar,” said Micheal.
She didn’t get a chance to contact him.
“This chap came along. He asked, ‘Is that your dog?’ She said it was. He snapped the dog out of her arms, into a car and gone,” said Micheal.
Michael, a single gentleman who is on dialysis, is a diabetic and has arthritis was heartbroken.
“Oh Lord almighty it was like losing a family member when he was gone. I’ll never forget the week I put down. I couldn’t eat or sleep. I was fierce worried. I was up every morning at 7am to try and find him. I was driving all around looking for Duke. I was in the worst form possible. My kind friends and neighbours were also searching.”
Micheal got a gift of the terrier when he was a little pup. For the next five and half years they have been inseparable.
“Without fear of contradiction he is my best friend. Outside of human beings you couldn’t make a nicer friend.”
Just when he was beginning to give hope his phone rang on the following Sunday night.
“I got a call from Limerick Animal Welfare in Kilfinane. A kind lady called Marie O’Connor asked me did I own a little Jack Rusell Terrier. Jesus, I jumped! I said, ‘I do’. She said they had him in Kilfinane.
“The person who saw my dog being thrown out of a moving car in Caherconlish rang Marita Davis, of West Limerick Animal Aid. She came and collected the dog and brought Duke to Kilfinane. They in turn contacted me to say it was my dog.”
The thieves had ripped off Duke’s collar and Micheal’s phone number. But as Micheal had microchipped the dog Limerick Animal Welfare could contact him.
That night Micheal couldn’t sleep but it was due to excitement.
“I go for an auld glass of cider once or twice a week just to put down an hour and I could have gone around the pub kissing everybody. It was better than winning the EuroMillions. It was as good as Tipperary winning the All-Ireland.”
The next morning he set off bright and early for Limerick Animal Welfare’s sanctuary where Micheal and Duke were reunited.
“He was a little bit traumatised and still is a little bit but he gave me hugs and kisses. I brought him to the vet straight away to show him his paws. He is licking them because they are scratched after being thrown from the car and landing on the ground.
“What kind of person could do a thing like that? How are people so cruel? I can’t understand it. The vet gave him an injection and tablets. He is on one a day for six days.”
Micheal wants to thank everyone who helped him get Duke back.
“A million thanks to all the people who helped – my friends and neighbours, the kind person who saw Duke being thrown out of the car and contacted Marita, Marita for collecting him and Marie in Limerick Animal Welfare for returning him to me.”
Marie and Marita said they were “so happy to see them reunited”.