IRELAND IS a nation of animal lovers, and there's nothing we wouldn't do for our beloved pets.
For one pensioner in Dublin, his arthritis means he can no longer face the long walks around Phoenix Park where he used to take his dogs every day-- but he has found a way to overcome the problem.
82-year-old pensioner John appeared on RTÉ's It's A Parks Life yesterday evening to show the unique way he ensures his three dogs continue to get the exercise they need, even while he can no longer keep up.
"I have arthritis in my hands, you know," he told the show. "Sure I'm 82 now."
"I can't hold the dogs, you see, and that's why I give them the car."
The programme saw John taking his three beloved pets, including 'the boss' Sandy, for a walk by attaching their leads to his car and going at a slow pace as the dogs trot easily alongside it-- even allowing time for curious sniffs around the park.
John is 82 and suffers from arthritis so while he can't bring his dogs for a walk around the Phoenix Park anymore, he's come up with another way to bring his loyal pals for their exercise. 🐶🐕🐩#ItsAParksLife, tonight at 7pm and on @RTEPlayer. pic.twitter.com/WNqKKAl3bH
— RTÉ One (@RTEOne) September 24, 2020
"I don't rush them at all, I go at their own speed and they love that," John added.
While the arthritis in his hands is one reason he can no longer take the three pups for exercise, there is also safety concerns, with John admitting he is "not too good on the feet".
"If I take them out and they see something, they'd pull me and I'd fall."
The clever car contraption is "the only way I can take the dogs out", he admitted.
He also revealed that some people had accused his method of being 'cruel', despite going at a slow pace, and argued "it would be cruelty to keep them at home and not bring them out!".
To find out why the park is such an important part of life for John and many more like him, It's A Parks Life is available to watch on the RTÉ Player for those in Ireland (here).