An ode to Bród.
Like Michael Jackson, Amy Winehouse and other similar world-altering celebrity deaths in recent memory, we'll all remember where we were when we heard presidential pup Bród had crossed the rainbow bridge.
For some of us, the alarm was raised during Joe Biden's Irish visit. Misneach was out in full force of course, availing of photo ops and sniffing out the vibes of the POTUS, letting it be known that head-pat privileges aren't just handed over to any dignitary who skkes them. It's the type of icon behaviour we're used to seeing from both the Bernese beauties, so it was slightly concerning to see Misneach riding solo in these pursuits. Where was Bród? Why wasn't he out nibbling on Miggeldy's sleeve and purveying the grounds as usual?
Bród. He was the best boy pic.twitter.com/0n3LTDF1Pp
— david 🏳️🌈🇮🇪🏳️⚧️ (@DaithiMacTaig) April 22, 2023
Sadly, the news broke over the weekend that Bród had passed away aged 11. The beloved dog had lived at the Áras since he was an 8 week old puppy, and as referenced in a statement shared by the presidential Instagram account, was "probably one of the most photographed dogs in Ireland."
For obvious reasons, Bród, Misneach and Síoda before them have always been intensely adored by the people of Ireland. Who wouldn't love a huge, cuddly dog with impeccable comedic timing, tearing through important, high-brow events looking for belly rubs showing his younger pal the presidential ropes?
Awww. RIP to Irish President Michael D Higgins' beloved dog Bród. Always remember this precious moment captured by @RazanIRL. pic.twitter.com/YXesDv50Fk
— Barry Malone (@malonebarry) April 22, 2023
But as the nations reaction to his passing clearly indicates, Bród was so much more to us than a sweet, loveable mascot. At a time where the country is gripped by a housing crisis, cost-of-living crisis, climate crisis... the list goes on, being able to turn on the news and see a dog loyally following our unproblematic, poetry-loving President, delighting visitors and shunning certain political figures was a simple comfort in a sea of nationwide anxiety and bleakness. As far and Bród and Misneach are aware, they're just living life with their loving owners in a house that just happens to receive a lot of visitors. They have no idea how much joy they evoke, and that makes the whole thing so much more joyful.
A statement from the Áras told that in the last months of Bród's life, Misneach was his constant companion, "aware of Bród’s situation and very attentive to him." Bród was loved not just in his own household but in every household in Ireland, living up to his namesake and instilling pride on the regular.
The news of a dog passing away, particularly one who leaves a loving canine companion behind is always sad. But this one cuts especially deep.
RIP Bród. You'll be missed more than you know.
Header image via Twitter/presidentIRL