Speak Irish: Coileáiníní!

Speak Irish: Coileáiníní!
by Bob Carney

Tá suil agam go bhfuil sibh go maith. Depending on your perspective, glass half full, glass half empty, we have had some positive things come out of the first half of 2020. One of them being that animal shelters are relatively empty as pet adoptions have risen.

Mary and I, in all our years together, have always been fortunate to share our home and our lives with cats and dogs. This May we welcomed Rían, a male Irish Wolfhound puppy from Julie Schaeffer’s “Hops and Hounds” in New York.

I have to admit I had many mixed emotions about bringing another wolfhound puppy home so soon after losing Cian. Our female wolfhound, Morrighán, has stepped into that “special girl” role and Doolin at twelve pounds decided he could easily step into Cian’s paws, so to speak.

Any misgivings quickly faded that first weekend Rían came home. Doolin found a new playmate, even though at the end of the first week with us and twelve weeks old, Rían was already over forty pounds. When Rían is tired or looking for comfort or security, he’s sleeping next to big sister Morrighán.

Irish Puppy Training
Puppy training can be a challenge, no matter how many times we’ve been through it. A few things I’ve learned over the years are, nothing lasts forever, bladders will get stronger, puppy teeth soon fall out, we probably needed new carpeting anyway and those really were not my favorite shoes!

Establishing routines and being consistent with commands with positive rewards and praise  for even the simplest things done right shortens the intial training. All dogs respond to our affection and strive to do the things that will get them more of it. Yelling or hitting a wolfhound will never get you a companion like I had with Cian.

What does all of this have to do with an Irish language column? I’m glad you asked! When it comes to learning Irish, to quote my favorite possum, “We are confronted with insurmountable opportunities”

Pogo (Walt Kelly). Just think you could be the talk of the dog park as you call to your dog in Irish.

“Fred, did you hear that crazy person over there?”  So here is my list of simple commands and a few phrases we can use with our favorite companions. They can also be used for children and some adults, for cats however, you’re on your own!

Bearla                                  Gaeilge                                  Phonetics

Sit                                        suigh                                       see

Sit down                              suigh síos                                see shees

Stay                                     fan                                           fahn

Come                                   tar                                            tar

Come here                           tar anseo

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