|A woman has given up on men and decided to marry her dog.|
Henry, just so happens to be an eight-year-old Yorkshire terrier.
Ms Callaghan is celebrating her eighth wedding anniversary to Cork-born Henry – who is blessed with a perky personality, big, dark eyes and soft, brown hair – on November 20.
She calls him her ‘king,’ and praises his unfailing loyalty, claiming a man has never offered her the same level of support or kindness.
‘Things have fallen apart somewhat since we married in 2009,’ said Wilhelmina, of Northern Ireland.
‘I lost my job in a morgue, so was forced to become a freelance embalmer, there is not much money in that, and then my house flooded.
‘But Henry has been great throughout – he is so loyal. I call him ‘Ri’ which means ‘King’ in ancient Gaelic, because he is like a king – my king.’
Ms Callaghan adopted Henry in 2009, from a friend who had a litter, and was inspired to become his bride after learning about people marrying their pets online.
She says that Henry is ‘wonderful’ and he loves cuddles and watching television. Henry – whose full name is Henry Frederick Stanley Morgan – and Ms Callaghan, became dog and wife, via a website, with her friend Rebecca Carter, acting as a witness.
Although they were given a certificate, as it is not legal to marry your pet, their union is a spiritual one, although she takes it completely seriously.
|Wilhelmina and her dog Henry’s marriage certificate (Picture: PA)|
She also has 10 other dogs, including Chihuahuas, Chinese-crested dogs and Schnauzers, which she has acquired from places as far flung as Slovenia, the Ukraine and Lincolnshire.
‘There is Merrick-Thor, Mercurius, Medeia, Celia, Madoc, Francesca, Bebe, Victor, Blodwen and Ludwig,’ she said. ‘We all get along – most of the time – but there can be arguments.’
When there is tension amongst her canine companions, Henry is usually the peacemaker.
‘It’s one of the many things I love about him,’ she explains. Henry is threatened by other dogs, quite the opposite.
Ms Callaghan says: ‘If a new dog enters the fold, Henry is the first to go over and say hello. There’s no ego, he is just so friendly. The couple even have ‘their song’.
She adds: ‘When I sing it, he runs over. It’s called ‘Harry’s Song’ and it includes the lyrics, “Harry is my love. Harry is the one”.’
Ms Callaghan said Henry’s unwavering support in 2010, when the recession hit Ireland and she lost her job, followed by her house being flooded, got her through an extremely rough time.
She said: ‘He’s been there for me more than any men have ever been.
‘But, then, dogs are better than men. In fact, the only man who could possibly match up to Henry is Gregory Peck – and I will be waiting a long time to meet him now in the after-life.
‘Unlike other marriages which fall apart, I know I’m with Henry for life.
‘People may think I’m barking mad, but he’s perfect for me.’
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