Almost every summer of my childhood my siblings and myself would be shipped off to Ireland to visit our relatives it was really like living with strangers our grandparents on our fathers side lived in Canada so all we were visiting were great grandparents and Aunts and Uncles. The only family membor on my fathers side of the family whom I liked and like me back was my great Aunt Kyna (meaning wise in Irish ). She opened her home to my siblings and my self with open arms and a thick Irish accent she looked past our thick twist of Irish Italian accent and the converstations us kids would accidently have in Italian by form of habit most things my fathers side of the family hated about us. My brother and sister were older and more social and actually would make friends while on this trips I would stay home with Aunt Kyna and her old male Kerry Beagel Ceallach (which means Bright Head in Irish). Ceallach was a tricolored boy and my form of friendship. Not as old as he once was he was still happy as ever to follow on my walks along the country side either on my own or with my aunt. If you don't know what a Kerry Beagel is or have never met one you are missing out they are truly one of the friendliest breeds out there smart too. Their bigger then the regular Beagel but just as cute. Ceallach like my Aunt did'nt care that I had a funny accent or wasent anything special to look at or hated social activity or was terribly homesick he just liked to sit with me. We would swim together wrestle together he slept in my cot with me laying across my legs. The last time we were sent to Ireland for "vacation" I was 10 and was going to turn eleven in Ireland as was Ceallach turning 12 unfortunatly 12 was much older for him then for me. I hated that i could'nt be home for my birthday and my brother had not come on this trip and my sister spent less and less time around me. And so i just had old Ceallach and Kyna (who was well into her 80's at this point and not doing that great). Two weeks before my birthday Ceallach passed on it was peacefull he went in his sleep he was just simply old and had a full life for a Kerry. Yes I cried and yes i was sad but for some reason i felt it was ok that he went like he did. My sister and i had to bury Ceallach as our aunt Kyna could'nt take it my sister and I said a few words and then I build him a grave out of large sticks and stones and got an old picture of Ceallach as a puppy and wedged it inbetween the rocks kissed my hand and touched the stone ( I often would kiss my hand and touch the top of his head). I had my birthday like I said before in Ireland and it was nice. A year later my aunt Kyna passed on and we stopped visiting Ireland after her funeral there was no reason to go back everything good was gone. I do plan to go back some day visit both graves. I know most of my stories deal with loss and i don't mean for them to be so sad its just how my life is but I think i come away a stronger person and I like to share because I figure if I don't tell their stories who will?