As we march into spring we bring you these lucky newlyweds! It’s just happenstance this family was selected in the month we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, as Paul is a true Irishman! Eva, a Tennessee native and heart surgeon at Baptist Memorial Hospital, completed her residencies in 2016 which spanned from Arizona to Maryland. She began working with Genesis Health System in Iowa that same year. One of Eva and Paul’s happiest moments was their engagement in beautiful Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. These two love to travel and have been all over the world! This fortunate couple moved to Oxford in the late summer of 2020, and married on December 17, 2020. While conducting Eva’s job search, combined with setting sites on a permanent place to settle, Oxford was one of the places on their path and it reminded Paul of the size of his hometown of Omagh in Northern Ireland.
Eva and Paul have both always had pups but mostly leaned towards the smaller sized breed varieties. Paul’s childhood pup was named…yup you guessed it…Lucky! Their current two babies, Houdini and Zeus, affectionately called “the tinies”, are actually 100+ pounds each! Eva treats her babies with tender care, just as she does her patients, so they are always in the best hands! She had them for eight years as a single mom until, as she said, “they helped her snag an Irish man”. Eva was raising these two large canine angels to be his future sidekicks! Paul is as smitten with them as he is with Eva.
Eva found Houdini at the humane society in Memphis in 2010 when he was “ruffly” two years old and a few months later she rescued Zeus from a kill shelter in Ripley, MS when he was still actually a “tiny” puppy. Houdini is a bullmastiff around 13 years old, and Zeus is an 11 year old akita mix. Zeus was named by the shelter because of his large paws.
As for Houdini, he was originally named Hoff, after the Knight Rider himself, David Hasslehoff but Eva did not find this a suitable name for such a unique character of a dog, and she changed it to the more fitting Houdini. He was quite the escapist when it came to kennels of any kind as a youngster; wire, plastic, it didn’t matter, you put him in it, he’d get out! Houdini doesn’t have attachments to anyone or anything in particular except for Zeus, his cozy bed and, of course food! If Zeus isn’t around, Houdini feels lost and incomplete. Makes sense! Zeus is the “ruler, protector, and father” of all. Zeus on the other hand loves his toys and still has his very first toy from 2008. A green snake that he still carries around to this day. Another testament to his Greek Mythology archetype! Look up Zeus and you will see a snake (or a lightning bolt) Besides his love for toys, Zeus is an adventurous pup and loves hiking the trails at the Ole Miss campus with his mom and dad. If the pups were a celebrity, Eva thinks Zeus would be Sylvester Stalone and Paul thinks Houdini would be John Candy, but both agreed Houdini is really just Houdini, a very unique fellow and one of a kind.
Paul, originally from Omagh, Northern Ireland, grew up during the times of the Troubles. The 90’s were a very contentious and brutal time in the History of Northern Ireland and Omagh was the site of a car bombing which is sited as the single deadlist incident of this time, 8/15/1998, killing 29 civilians, spawning outrage, calls for an end to the violence, and resulting in new anit-terrorist laws being enacted. Omagh being a town of similar size to Oxford, Paul knew everyone killed during this tragedy. He escaped the Troubles shortly before the bombing as a young man of 25, for a trip to Florida, and has lived in the states ever since.
He has lived in several states since then looking for new opportunities and adventures but says with sincerity, that Oxford is his favorite place thus far. He is an avid golfer, owner of Craftwork Iowa, a carpentry enterprise, and proud dad of competitive swimmer Cait. In fact, their first date was at one of Cait’s swimming meets! He has a passion for woodworking, building cabinets, wall units, and bars. It was while Paul was honing his craft and building his business in Iowa, he met Eva while doing remodeling work on her home.
Eva and Paul say their favorite thing about using Homeward Bound services is “peace of mind”. They had a choice to move to Indianapolis, Georgia, or Oxford, when Eva was selecting a home to practice medicine and Oxford tugged on their heartstrings. They know the pups are getting the best care with Homeward Bound and get the special attention they deserve. Zeus loves a good walk, and Houdini always looks forward to chow time with his friends. It’s where his heart is! Eva and Paul are so happy they fell into the “velvet ditch” we all call home!