At Home Abroad: Mo Brocaire Buí
By Regina Costello
My kids plagued me for more than ten years to get a puppy. My husband was on board with the idea. I was steadfast against it, thinking that once the novelty wore off, he/she would become “my pet,” with my husband working a hectic schedule and my kids of course bogged down in schoolwork and extracurricular activities.
I broke down in the summer of 2018. A good friend, Michelle, unexpectedly adopted a soft coat wheaten terrier, an Irish breed called the Mo Brocaire Buí brocaire buí in Gaelic,that translates to the yellow brooch. The terrier is a native of Ireland for more than 200 years, and is commonly known as the Poor Man’s Wolfhound.
Michelle texted a photo of her pup in June, while we were on vacation in Cancun. Oh my, she was beautiful! We landed back in Cleveland on a Friday at 2AM and 2PM found us in her living room playing with the puppy despite the jetlag. She was super friendly and incredibly cute. We loved her.
I left with the breeder details and spent the next twenty-four hours dwelling upon the notion of acquiring a sibling puppy. Michelle offered her guiding hand if we decided to go ahead with this venture, which was encouraging for me.
A day of research informed me that thisspirited, lovable and devoted Irish terrier farm dog is “an iron fist in a velvet glove.” I learned that this gentle gift from the Emerald Isle was bred initially to guard the chicken coop, herd or bird-dog and enjoyed a relaxing spot by the fire in the evenings.
My heart melted over pictures of the soft silky coat that is initially brown beige, speckled with black, fading to a more wheaten or ashy color as an adult. The striking goatee won me over. My energetic kids took delight in learning that this terrier maintains a puppy personality for life, one that delivers a rousing welcome of clammy licks and affectionate nips with sprightly jumps commonly known as the “wheaten greeting.” Me? Not so much.
Monday morning was one like no other. I didn’t have to yell at my twins that morning to get ready to jump in the car by 10 to make our appointment on time with the breeder. They were sitting in the back seat, waiting for me, hollering to me to get a move on.
They knew only too well I was liable to change my mind. They weren’t taking any chances. It was today or never. Even my husband took the day off from work for the adventure.
We drove to a beautiful Amish farm in Millersburg enjoying a lush landscape, marbled with grazing farm animals and alpacas. Rolling hills and green countryside reminded me of home. That coupled with thoughts of an Irish breed quelled my fears and I basked in the notion that perhaps this was meant to me.
The timing was good too, as my kids turned 13 a few months back and were leading pretty responsible lives. I believed they were capable of taking care of most of a puppy’s needs.
We arrived to a sight of excited puppies – about ten, from two different litters. Freshly washed and groomed, they couldn’t wait to meet us. They were all released at the same time and were super friendly. Strangely enough I wasn’t scared.
One puppy in particular was a little reserved and waited patiently for her turn to greet us. I immediately took to her. When she finally came to us, she was as friendly and enthusiastic as her siblings and cousins. A little bigger than the rest, which scared me a little, but her demeanor and personality won me over.
I glanced at my husband privately, over my kid’s heads, and both of us silently agreed that she was the one for us. Numerous questions followed with the breeder patiently answering. An hour later, five of us piled in the car, the brocaire buínestled on a soft blanket between my two kids. She clamored onto Fiona’s lap looking for some reassurance, and eager to make friends with Neil, found her way over to him for additional affection.
From both, she wallowed in warm hugs and reassuring words. There was not a meg out of her the whole drive home.
Three months in and mo brocaire buíálainn– my beautiful yellow brooch – is much loved. We all have a different name for her. Deepak calls her Ashley, her given name from the breeder. Neil calls her Boo! to which she responds excitedly because she knows that he is good for rough fun. She responds to Ash from Fiona.
Thick with Irish roots, of course I am compelled to call her Aisling, a Gaelic girl’s name that translates as “dream”. She is a dream come true for my kids. The Poor Man’s Wolfhound that is the lovely little yellow brooch has earned a special place in our hearts and in our home abroad.
*Regina is a Graduate from the National University of Ireland, Galway and a Post Graduate from the National University of Ireland, Dublin. She is the former Curator of the Irish American Archives at the Western Reserve Historical Society, former Executive Director of the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument Commission and former Executive Coordinator of the Northern Ohio Rose Centre. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Mayo Society of Greater Cleveland. She can be reached at rc*******@am*******.net
Sources consulted: www.akc.org www.yourpurebredpuppy.com www