Nuala O Faolain said this in an interview in the Irish Independent today:
"I hope I don't sound like some kind of crazed old English spinster but the fact is that animals are the great discovery of middle age. They have taught me about my parents' limitations. They had no spare heart for animals and for along time neither had I. I've felt more tender about that dog than I have about anything ever, and I know that sounds completely mad because she's only a dog. But it's true."