AS A PET OWNER IF SOMEBODY WERE TO ASK YOU THE MOST DIFFICULT THING ABOUT OWNING A PET, THE ANSWER WILL ALWAYS BE SAYING GOODBYE.
Like so many dogs Mason was much more than just a pet, he was part of the family. Every morning we would be greeted by the sounds of his huge paws echoing up over the timber floor in our hallway as he made his way to the kitchen. Sitting at the table, a huge black and grey head with distinctive white patch in the middle would push its way under your resting arm; this meant it was time to stop whatever was happening and show some affection as he had not seen us since saying good night a few long hours previous.
He would sit with us in the evenings, his huge frame taking up more than his fair share of the couch, binging on pointless TV while always keeping himself comfortable; just near enough the hot stove for warmth, just near enough to the window that needed to be slightly open for him so as not to get too hot, just near enough his extra large water bowl that was left by the French doors in the sitting room in the evenings because heaven forbid he would have to leave the room for a drink! And if it was raining outside, Mason needed to be accompanied outside to do his business with an umbrella overhead.
Mason developed doggy – celebrity status amongst the dog walkers and their companions on the 5 kilometre stretch of blue flag beach in Tramore Co. Waterford. This beach was his favourite stomping ground for the years he was with us. People who did not know our family name would identify us as the people who owned the huge dog with the colouring of a zebra. Regular dog walkers would stop to have a little chat with our pet dog!
Mason sadly died in March 2020 following complications with his hips. He was due a consultation the following day with a specialist surgeon, but his condition steadily worsened to the point it would have been unfair to subject him to the car journey to Cork, to maybe prolong his life by a few months, and then to what quality of life would he have had afterwards. He developed so much pain almost overnight that he could not do the things that made him the companion we knew him to be. As a family we made the heart wrenching decision to remove the pain permanently from our dear friend. Knowing that it was the right decision did not make it any easier.
Mason left such a void around our house. As any pet owner will attest to it is near impossible to replace the unconditional love and affection a pet will give. But we were lucky to have had him in our lives for as long as we did, and we would like to think he was happy to have had us in his life as well. Now all that is left is the odd piece of fur under the couch he loved, a water bowl never moved from the usual spot. Thousands of photographs, endless beautiful memories, and a desire to take some of the pain and suffering away from other people who are grieving the loss of their friends.
RIP Mason, gone but never forgotten x