The Hound of Satan

A movement at the end of the garden caught my eye.  A brief flash of colour running along the top of the wall.

That’s a strange-looking cat, I thought, but then I looked again.

Wait a minute!  That’s not a cat.  That’s my fucking dog!

The bastard has done it again.  He’s found a new way to escape, for the purpose of savaging my neighbours, their children and their pets.

Jesus Christ, what did I do to deserve this Hound of Satan?



Dinner With The Hound of Satan

Bock’s Dog Knocked Down

My Dogs

My Dog, Satan

Working dogs


Our new puppy

Bock's People Pets

Dinner With The Hound of Satan

I was fighting the dog for the last piece of Chicken Rogan Josh when the phone rang.  The dog had a firm grip on my right leg, just below the knee and I was trying to kick him in the face with my left heel, but that isn’t easy when you’re hopping on one leg.

Hello? said Wrinkly Joe.

Hello, I grunted, as I swung the butt of the phone, clubbing the dog between the eyes.  He tightened his grip on my leg and his powerful neck muscles swung him from side to side as he tried to tear out a jaw-sized portion of my flesh.

What the fuck is that noise? said Wrinkly Joe’s tinny, distant voice.

That’s me fighting with the Hound of Satan, I shouted.  What do you want?

Well, said Joe.  I was wondering if there’s any chance of a bed for the night.

Bang! The cast-iron frying pan made a solid, metallic, resonating sound as it connected with the dog’s skull.

Gghhhhrrrraaaaagghhhhh!!!!!, snarled the Hound, but he still didn’t let go.

What night? I shouted.

This night, said Joe.  I’ll be visiting Limerick tonight and I thought we might go out for a few pints.

Oh for fucksake!!! I screamed gently.  Take that you fucker!!

But the dog was too quick for the meat cleaver, smartly let go of my calf and clamped onto my right ankle.  Gnnnarrroowwwwllnnnkkkk!!!, he spat.

It’s even harder to kick your own ankle than your knee.

Are you all right? Joe’s concerned, distant little voice enquired.

No, I’m fucking not, I snarled as I finally managed to knock the dog temporarily senseless with a copper kettle.

How about a pint?

OK, I said.  The lacerations on my leg were no worse than usual.

About nine?  asked Joe.

Sure, I said, picking up the piece of chicken Rogan Josh the dog had dropped.  I’ll just finish my dinner and I’ll be with you.


Bock’s Dog Knocked Down

The Hound of Satan got run over and I’m afraid the news isn’t good.

He survived.

I was changing a wheel on the Bockmobile, so I didn’t see it happening, but I heard the screeching and the howling as he thrashed around in the middle of the road and I saw the appalled driver pulling up white-faced and in shock.

I’m sorry, he said.

Don’t be, I answered reassuringly.  You’ll get him next timeTell me, did you just hit him, or did you roll over him?

The driver shruggled.  Over, I think.  There was a bump … 

I was in a hurry.  I had to deliver a lawnmower to a friend’s house, and I had to meet a mysterious Frenchman in town about an assignment, so the last thing I needed was when the fucking dog started hopping around on one foot with the other three up in the air, simultaneously snarling and whimpering.  This is never great when all the neighbours just happen to be out leaning on their walls, watching and nodding with narrowed eyes.  The way neighbours do.

Fuck, I thought.  Better look concerned.

There seemed to be some blood on his paw, so I reached towards the dog, Come here till I have a look at you, but he made a go for my hand and I had to club him senseless with the car-jack.

Tut, said the neighbours silently.


It’s all right, I told the neighbours.  I have a planI’ll just drop off that lawnmower, and then I’ll meet that French fella in town.  If the dog is dead when I get back we’ll know he was hurt.

All the neighbours frowned.  Tut.

All right, I said.  I’ll go to the vet.  All right, already!

So I coaxed Satan onto a beanbag and carried the whole whimpering, snarling, bloodied, flea-infested pile out to the Bockmobile.


The vet was the essence of polite professionalism, even when Satan decided to shit on his floor.  Don’t worry about that.  I have a machine to clear it up.

Thanks, I gagged.

Look, he said.  There could be some internal injury. I’d better put Satan on a drip and keep him overnight for observation.

A drip?  What the fuck is this — ER?

What I really said was, All right.

I’ll call you later, he said.

All right.

Off you go now.

All right.

And he did.  He really did call me that night, when I was asleep in bed after taking a pile of paracetamol for the headache that paralysed me all day since the fucking dog got knocked down, and which was not necessarily unconnected to my having been out carousing on the town all the previous night .

Hi Bock.  This is Mike.  The vet?

Unnhh.  Ghhgghrnnmm?

It’s about Satan.  I think he’s going to be ok.

Oh.  Right.  Great.  Now fuck off.  I’m asleep.

I send a text to all my friends: Vet thinks Satan will be ok.

Parkenstein replies: Is that good or bad?

I know what he means.

Next morning, I collect the bastard from the vet’s place and the nurse is going all cuddly and ooh-aah about the fucking killer dog.

Isn’t he lovely?  Oh coochie-coo, there fella, oh he’s gorgeous.

You want to take him home?  He’s yours.

The nurse looks at me strangely.  I’ll just print out your invoice.

It comes to a very large amount of money, more than I’d spend on myself if I was sick.

I hold it up.  Are you fucking serious?  This is a joke, right?

The nurse looks at me blankly. ‘Fraid not.

Jesus Christ, I complain.  For a fucking dog!

I know, says the nurse.  Things have gotten very expensive.

I get an idea.  Tell me something, I ask.

Certainly! chirps the nurse.

How much would it cost to put him down instead?

Pets Stupidity

My Dogs

I have two small dogs: Satan and Dermot.

Satan is a Jack Russell, highly intelligent, faithful and brave, with the heart of a lion. Satan is clean and never, ever dirties the house. This is a good thing in a dog. On the downside, Satan is a psychopath, willing to attack any living thing no matter how big or how small. Postmen, Rhodesian Ridgebacks, Warthogs, Indian Wild Boar, Tasmanian Devils, Portuguese Men o’ War, none of it matters to Satan because Satan is an equal-opportunity creature-hater. There isn’t a bishop in Ireland willing to knock on my door looking for a vote. It happened once.


I leaned out. What?

It was an old guy in a black cassock. Alternative Bishop Party. Can I have a word?


I’ll excommunicate you?


That was the last bishop-politician ever to call at my door. I still have one of his dried feet.

This is true: I came out of my house one day to find two fully-grown tinkers standing on the pillars, one at either side of the gate, with little Satan doing synchronised snarling between them.


I’m afraid of him, Boss, said one tinker.

Will he bite us, Sir? asked the other.

He’ll tear the fucking arse off you. What the fuck were you doing in my garden?

LIke the girls from Texas, that’s the way it goes with Jack Russells, but I wish I knew it before I got Satan.

Dermot, on the other hand, is a fool. A Pomeranian fool, with a beautiful thick, furry coat and the cutest curly tail you ever saw. The fucking fool. He attacks other animals by rolling over and hanging his tongue out at them.

I take the two of them for a walk along the River Shannon, and everyone I meet recoils in horror at Satan, but melts over Dermot. Girls love Dermot and they want to take him home and say Aaaawwww!! to him all day and all night, and shampoo him and cuddle him, and brush him and squeeze him and say Aaaawwww!! some more, but there’s one thing they don’t know about Dermot. One thing that makes Dermot fifty times worse than Satan.

Dermot shits.

Dermot shits wherever he feels like it, and whenever he feels like it.

He cannot be trained to desist from fouling my house, and that’s because he is fucking retarded.

Would anyone like a beautiful yet stupid, friendly, peaceful mega-shitting dog, who’s used to living outdoors?


My Dog, Satan

It’s very difficult to own a dog. Very. It’s hard. Dogs demand a great amount from their owners, and anyone who tries to tell you that pets lower your blood pressure should be shot down in the street like a – well, like a dog.

I have, as you probably know, two dogs. Satan and Dermot.

Dermot is a fool. A dimwit who follows any passing pedestrian. A cretin. A moron. A half-wit.

Satan is rather different.

Jimbo and I went for a walk with our collective doggery yesterday, down around Plassey and the University area. It’s our favourite walk because it’s nice to stroll beside the beautiful River Shannon, especially in the wonderful weather we’ve been having lately. It takes about an hour, which isn’t a huge burden and what’s more, we get a bit of exercise too. The dogs get to run through the fields and chase creatures into bushes. Occasionally, Satan gets to kill something, but it’s usually something you’d want killed anyway, so we don’t mind too much.

The University is building an amazing footbridge across the Shannon – did I mention that before? An astonishing elevated thing that meanders among the islands on the river and connects the Limerick side of the campus with the Clare side. Wonderful. I’ve always loved that part of the Shannon. We used to swim there as kids, and paddle flat-bottomed boats down the river. You can still sit on the bank and wait for the trout and salmon to jump in the evening.
It’s lovely, and guess what? Who do you think is building the bridge? Eiffel!! That’s who. The same people who built that tower over there in Franceland.

Won’t it be nice? Anyway, that isn’t what I started to talk about. What I started to talk about was dogs. During our walk by the River Shannon, Jimbo looked around and said

One . . . Two . . . eh, Three?

Eh, no, actually. No Dermot. Why not? Very simple: Dermot gone. Dermot wandered off because Dermot completely stupid, and therefore we spend another thirty minutes driving around looking for the completely dense, incompetent, but very friendly and cute Dermot. We found him at last, following – what else? – two old men and a little grand-daughter walking their dogs.

We pulled up beside them, and I leaned out the window.

Jesus, thanks lads. I’m very-

That was as far as I got before Satan jumped past me out the window and savaged both of the poor old men’s mutts and a little timid creature led by the screaming child. We left in a cloud of smoke with the old men shaking their fists at us and the little girl giving a statement to the University security people.

Satan is a problem.


Working dogs

I opened the fridge to get something for the dinner and it was – well, you know the way fridges get when you haven’t cleared them out in about six months. To be truthful, it was fucking minging. There was a smell out of it that would make a shark retch.

Shit, I said, I’d better clean this thing out.

Now, the best way to do this is to be methodical, so I started clearing the shelves one by one, carefully examining each item before deciding what to do with it.

I have a simple enough system:



Growing stuff.


It’s quick and it works. I was down to the bottom shelf within minutes, with a fetid pile of offal in the bin, another stinking quivering heap of crap in the fire and the hairy stuff waiting to be separated into possibles and probables. After this all I’d need to do was scrape the dried up food particles and the congealed gravy off the shelves. That was when I knocked over a bowl of old soup that spilled all down the front of my shirt and fell with a big splat of gunk all over the floor.

Fuck!! I snarled, reasonably. Fuck Fuck Fuck!!

I turned to reach for the mop when, suddenly a thought came to me.

Why am I doing this? Why am I mopping up a big pool of soup when I have two perfectly good dogs to clean up the kitchen floor?

Satan! I called. Dermot!

As one dog, they were upon me and as one they hoovered up all the foul-smelling gunk.

Great, I thought, when the floor was completely clean, for the first time in about a year. What a great idea. Now fuck off, dogs!

But then, I thought,

Hold on a minute! If they can clean up the floor then why not . . .?

So that’s where they are now. Cleaning up the fridge. I’ll let them out in a minute.

Our lives Pets


I was telling you a few weeks ago that I got a new dog. Dermot.

Well, you’ll be glad to know that Dermot is fine. He’s still growing and now he’s a bit bigger than he was when I got him. He’s great, and he’s really cute, and all the girls love him and when I take him out walking I keep being stopped by women who all go “aaaaaaaahhhhh!!!” And then they look at me and go “you fuck off”

He’s a cute little fucker though, a big ball of fluff and he’s settling in well with Satan’s Terrier. Too well. Originally, I had the notion that it would be a good thing to get Satan’s terrier a companion because every time I stood up, or even made the least move to stand up, I was instantly observed and followed by the dog, and shadowed. I thought it would be a good thing. The dog wouldn’t be so fixated on me, and I’d be able to wander around the house unmolested, or at least unfollowed. Do you know what happened instead? That’s right: every time I stand up I’m now followed by two dogs. In my new life, two dogs, not one, sit and stare at me as I eat my dinner. Two dogs follow me to the toilet and wait outside for me. Two dogs chew the kitchen chairs. Two dogs nose through the ironing basket and tear out a sock each to chew when I’m not looking. Two dogs rip pieces of cardboard all over the floor. Two dogs demand food at all times.

However. I’m glad to report. Very glad . . .

. . . that only one dog shits all over the house. That only one dog leaves lawn-sausages on the fucking stairs for me to get between my toes as I stumble half-eyed downstairs at some uncouth hour of the morning when all decent Christians are still rightly abed.


Small though Dermot is, and cuddly, and nice and everything like that, he seems to possess the world’s most prodigious digestive system. Jimmy Rabbitte put it well enough, though I probably don’t quote him exactly:

Jaysus, you’d never think you’d get so much shit out of one small dog!

Our lives Pets

Our new puppy

The Bullet went off out the country someplace and came back with a small dog.

“It’ll be great,” he says. “Satan’s terrier will love him.”

“Satan’s terrier will fucking eat him,” I tell Bullet, “and you can clean up the body parts this time because I’m not doing it again.”

We were both wrong. Satan’s terrier ignored him completely, like in one of those very scary alien movies where you can walk in among these terrible many-headed monsters that have just ripped your entire crew to pieces but they won’t notice you at all if you don’t think about them. They’ll just keep on dripping slime on the floor of the cave and wrapping up your crew-mates in alien wrapping-stuff to eat later.

Isn’t it a strange thing with monsters, though? Big earth-monsters like reconstituted Tyrannosaurus Rex give out a loud echoing bellow: GWOOOAAAAAGHH! The sort of a roar you’d expect a monster to roar at you just before biting you in half. GWOOOAAAGGGHHH!!! Yet somehow, your basic space-monster doesn’t seem to have the same vocal chords. No matter how big he is, he sounds like Barry McGuigan: SKREEEEEKK! I’ve noticed this with many monsters, but I don’t understand why it should be. It happened, for example, with the guy in the first (and in my opinion, the best) Alien. When Ripley blew him out the door and hit the burners, what did he shout when he was getting fried? Did he say GWOOOAAAGHHH? No he did not. He said SSKKKRRRREEEEEEKKKK!!!! Which I thought was a bit limp in the circumstances, and also a bit implausible as there would have been no air out there in space to transmit any sound anyway. But fuck him, he could have mimed: gwwwooooaaaagghhh.

So, no. Satan’s terrier didn’t actually rip the new little puppy to bloody pieces all over the kitchen floor. Satan’s terrier didn’t in fact pay the slightest heed to him at all. I think I read someplace that puppies have a special scent for calming bigger dogs, a kind of smell that says, hey, I’m totally harmless over here, chill Mofo. Or something like that. I don’t know what breed he is, but I think the Bullet said he was a cross between a duck and a hedgehog. Later tonight, I’m going to shove him out in the garden and see if he eats slugs.

We had a good old debate about names. Bullet thought he should be called either Joseph or Leonard. I thought Stephen had a good ring to it, or else maybe David. Eventually we compromised and called him Dermot. It’s better than Wayne, you know. Or Keanu Storm. Better for his educational future, and we don’t want other dogs making fun of him. We’re not sure yet about his schooling, but we’ve put his name down for several of the best academies and we’ve arranged grinds for next week, once he settles in a bit.

He’s a nice little guy, though he looks like he accidentally got caught in a tumble-dryer (as opposed to on purpose). He’s small and fat, and he has spiky sticky-up hair. Hmmm. Maybe we should have called him Páidí Ó Sé.

Food & Drink popular culture Sport

This is it, boys, this is war

In the morning, we hit the road for Dublin, me and the kid and about eight million other Limerick people as well. Better make sure the old red shirt isn’t too smelly. I forgot to wash it after the Sale match, and it seems to have become a bit of an eco-system in its own right, but I’ll hang it out on the window-cill overnight, which should get rid of the worst of it. I can always pick away the encrusted bits, or better still, get the Manchurian Skobe-Hound to chew them off. Talking of which, I’m not sure what to do about Satan’s Terrier while we’re away. There’s a policeman living not too far from me. Maybe I could force the dog through his letter-box or, better still, set fire to it and fling it at his bedroom window. If I got to work right now, I could probably make up a replica Roman ballista out of old inner tubes and a stolen park bench and with that I’d be able to fire a hail of burning dogs at the cop’s house. Take that, you guard fucker! Stand up, you’re too comfortable!

Beelzebub’s Micro-Mastiff is not what you’d call a classic rugby fan. However, as a favour to a friend in Bruff RFC, I once sprayed him white and taped his legs to his chest. The dog, I mean – not my friend. When they slipped him into the scrum, he ate the bollocks off the Kilfeakle hooker before they realised he wasn’t the ball.

Tomorrow promises to be good, but it’s a pity it won’t be in Thomond Park. If it was in Thomond Park, we could array an army of killer pensioners with umbrellas all around the pitch. Have one of them, ya Frog Fucker! Poke. Poke. Ya Catalan bastard. Poke. Give us back the 42 Counties!!

We’ll probably get on the move early, cos I want to get rid of the car at Wrinkly Paddy’s house, and get back into town as quick as I can for a drink. I know I’m bringing a young lad with me, but he can’t be sheltered from reality all his life. Sooner or later, he’ll have to observe his father crawling around the floor of a pub and starting fights with strangers. God knows, he’ll be helping me home long enough when he grows up. We’ll catch up with the Wrinkly Romeos in Mulligans, have a good few scoops and watch the Leinster game. I’m hoping to get the young fella langers as early as possible so he won’t be annoying me with questions later. He’s still only fourteen, so he’ll be easy enough to carry onto the Dort.

We were thinking of going to the Tent in Lansdowne, but Wrinkly Paddy just sent an emergency txt, tht thrs nly Mrphs n plstc gls, wch is fkall gd 2 me. That’s ok. We convened in Mulligans last time as well, and it was fine. It was exactly the same as it’s been for the last 40 years: surly bar staff, high prices and filthy accommodation. Pity Regans is gone. At least Mrs Regan would appear out of a secret door in the wall with a plate of sambos. There ye are lads. Thanks MzzRegan. And no charge, unlike Tommy Fukken Cusack of Mulligans, who’d charge you for breathing if he could, the mean little baldy Cavan bastard. It’s a pity poor old John McGahern passed away before he had a chance to write about miserable grasping little baldy Cavan publicans in Dublin. Thank God we’re in Limerick. No Cavan fuckers here, I’m tellin ya.

Anyhow, myself and the offspring have tickets on the goal line at the North end. Row 1. Never been there before, so I’m not sure what the view will be like. I’m hoping it will be busy for one half and boring for the other, and I hope those things will happen in the desired order. Ideally, I’d have liked seats between the 22s but what the hell. At least there I’ll be able to have my umbrella ready, given half a chance. Go back to Canet Plage, ya phuqqer!! Remember Georgi Markov!! Poke!! Maybe I shouldn’t fling the Skobe-Hound at the policeman. Maybe I should secrete him beneath my authentic Munster serape, and set him loose among the Perpignan pack at a crucial psychological moment in the game. This might well unnerve them, as it’s unlikely they’ve seen a dog with red eyes before. A proper Munster dog.