Joe Heaney: Joe is Best Man at a Dog’s Wedding

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  • Teideal (Title): Joe Heaney: Joe is Best Man at a Dog’s Wedding.
  • Uimhir Chatalóige Ollscoil Washington (University of Washington Catalogue Number): 840109.
  • Uimhir Chnuasach Bhéaloideas Éireann (National Folklore of Ireland Number): none.
  • Uimhir Roud (Roud Number): none.
  • Uimhir Laws (Laws Number): none.
  • Uimhir Child (Child Number): none.
  • Cnuasach (Collection): Joe Heaney Collection, University of Washington, Seattle.
  • Teanga na Croímhíre (Core-Item Language): English.
  • Catagóir (Category): story.
  • Ainm an té a thug (Name of Informant): Joe Heaney.
  • Ainm an té a thóg (Name of Collector): unavailable.
  • Dáta an taifeadta (Recording Date): 07/11/1983.
  • Suíomh an taifeadta (Recording Location): University of Washington, United States of America.
  • Ocáid an taifeadta (Recording Occasion): evening class.
  • Daoine eile a bhí i láthair (Others present): unavailable.
  • Stádas chóipcheart an taifeadta (Recording copyright status): unavailable.

Having recently returned from a trip to France, Joe was questioned by students about his trip. The story – at first glance a ‘shaggy dog story’ – he told was of having been asked by a French woman to stand as best man at the woman’s dog’s wedding. He says he was paid 800 francs, and a piece of cake; and the happy couple were in Greece on their honeymoon.


Truth is stranger than fiction. Liam Mac Con Iomaire, in his 2007 biography of Joe Heaney, quotes the following account from Liam Clancy. Apparently Joe was in the habit of regaling the Clancys and other friends at The Lion’s Head in Greenwich Village with stories about things that happened while he was working as doorman at 135 Central Park West in New York (p. 244-5):

He was the best man at the wedding of two poodles! He didn’t know that it was dogs that were getting married. He thought it was people, because the woman said: ‘Joe, I need you to hire a tuxedo. Here’s the money, and I want you to go out and get a nice tuxedo, as I want you to be the best man at this wedding.’

He went out and he got the tuxedo. He went up to the apartment, and there were these poodles, all dressed up! One of them was in a wedding gown! ‘And you wouldn’t believe the food that these poodles were eating! And what did she give me? A sausage!’