We live in a nation that has undergone serious, life-altering changes over the past few years - some good, some bad.

Ireland was the first nation in the world to provide marriage equality by popular vote, and rolled back regressive policies on women's rights. There's been endless issues with our economy, governmental ineptitude, the rise of far-right violence, rolling lockdowns caused by the pandemic, and a growing realisation that Ireland will not be spared when it comes to ecological disaster caused by climate change.

It's a lot to handle, but if there's one thing we can cling to in this world, it's Michael D. Higgins and his giant Bernese Mountain Dogs. Sadly, all too sadly, one of said dogs - Síoda - passed away just five months ago, leaving poor Bród alone.

Anyone's who experienced a family pet / dog passing away knows how tough it can be. With that in mind, it's good to see that things are looking up for Bród with the arrival of a new Bernese Mountain Dog - a pup, in fact - at Áras an Uachtaráin.

We've reached out to the President's press office to see if we can find out the name of this little bundle of fluff, but in the meantime, take a look at this.

UPDATE - 15:40

Thanks to Richard Chambers, we've got a name for the pupster after our own investigation led us nowhere. The dog's name is Misneach, which is Irish for 'courage', 'spirit' or 'fortitude'.

Maybe President Michael D. Higgins is familiar with 'Courage, The Cowardly Dog' from Cartoon Network so many years ago? No, that's too much to hope for.

According to a statement, President Higgins chose the dog's name due "the times we live in," which is just the kind of poetic thing you'd expect of him.