Michael Dunegan lived alone on a little hard-scrabble farm high in the mountains of western County Kerry. His only companion and best friend was his dog, Bouncer. But the inevitable came to pass, and in his fourteenth year old Bouncer gave up the ghost, leaving Michael all alone and entirely bereft from grief.
So Michael sets out on the hike to town, to make final arrangements for his friend. He stops into the parsonage to see Father Malone.
"Father" he says, "me dog has died."
"Michael, I'm sorry to hear that. I know he was very special to you," says Father Malone.
"He was that, Father, indeed. And now I am after thinking that I'd like to do something special for him. Do you think you could say a blessing or something like that for Bouncer at mass?"
"Don't be daft, man!" says Father Malone. "A dog, mentioned at mass? Certainly not. Mass is not a place to be blessing a lowly animal! Now be off with you, Michael, and trouble me no more with your nonsense!"
"Yes, Father, certainly," says Michael. "But I'd be wondering if you might know where I might get something like that done for poor old Bouncer?"
"Well," says the priest, "there's those Baptists down at their new chapel. You might try there. God alone knows what foolishness they practice!"
"Thank you, Father," says Michael. "And not to be troubling you still, but what should such a blessing cost do you think? I've been saving for a long time and I have a thousand pounds I'd be willing to give them if you think that would be enough."
"Jesus, Joseph, and Mary!" cries the priest. "Why didn't you tell me the dog was a Catholic?"