Eddys Story

Hi,

I hate to begin on a sad note but I have just lost my best friend, a rescue mastiff called Eddy.

My then partner and I bought a place 50 yards from a forest about 10 years ago and we thought it would be the perfect time to replace a mastiff that I lost about 3 years before. Yes, I know that the whole of Epping forest was not really needed from an exercise perspective for a Mastiff but, as it turned out, Eddy needed lots of room in which to lie down and dismissively ignore me!!!!

After my first mastiff Woody, (which I had from a pup) I thought that, as I neither intend to show or breed my pet, a rescue dog may be a better idea. As with all large breeds, I guessed that there would be some owners that were surprised by the size and independence of a fully grown Mastiff (please don’t get me started on what I think of these people or my language would probably make Gordon Ramsay sound like Aled Jones!!!).

Anyway, after completing the necessary forms I received a call from a lovely Liverpudlian lady (sorry I have forgotten her name) saying that they had a year old pup which had been given up by an “owner” that had left the hero of this story in a concrete backyard in all weathers with no human or canine socialisation and was therefore very withdrawn and suspicious although not aggressive. Would I accept the assignment? I do not mind admitting that the idea of such a project filled me with a little trepidation but we felt that, as we signed for a rescue dog that we should not be selective and wait for “the right dog” to come along.

 As soon as he was brought over by a Mastiff Club volunteer (by the way great job guys) we knew we had made the correct decision to get a rescue dog! Was he wary? Yes. Was he withdrawn? Definitely! But you could tell that all he needed was love, attention and a few firm verbal commands to bring out all the character and affection that is the hallmark of the Mastiff breed. After only two weeks of interaction with humans and dogs it was like he had never been anywhere else although he always treated other dogs, irrespective of breed or sex, with amusingly arrogant indifference!!! “Yes I will quickly sniff your backside but the pleasantries and interaction ends there!!!!”

 We had a fabulous 10 years of friendship and I can honestly say (without wanting to sound like a Clintons card) that he touched so many lives and that once met he was never forgotten! After his passing a group of dear friends of mine were sitting at a local watering hole (I unfortunately was not present) reciting there favourite Eddy story. My favourite two stories show the breed traits to a tee!

 The first involves a dinner party for group of about 10 friends at which Eddy was being his usual social self, mingling with the guests (particularly the ladies) like a canine Warren Beatty! One of the guests was heavily pregnant and asked if she could have a lay down on a sofa in the lounge. Eddy followed her out and lay down next to the sofa  and we thought no more of it for an hour or so until the expectant mother’s husband came in after checking on her saying “Paul, can you have a word with your dog as he won’t let me within 10 feet of my wife!!!!” It shows that the Mastiff’s original calling as a guard dog is still inherent in the breed particularly where the fairer sex is concerned.

 The second instance was when we went to the country to visit some friends. They have a small daughter who was a little nervous of Eddy. This is not surprising as her head could easily fit in Eddy’s mouth. After a weekend the budding Barbara Woodhouse had Eddy sitting, laying down, giving paw and rolling over on command. I think she was wondering if she could get a saddle and if she could paint Eddy pink!!!! Ample demonstration of the gentle and trusting nature of the breed and the great rapport that they have with children I think!

 I think it will be a long time before I think about another dog as following Eddy would be like following Marvin Gaye at a Karaoke bar, but if and when I do, it will be a Mastiff and it will be a rescue dog. In my experience a rescue dog is no more work than a pup and it seemed (maybe only through my rose tinted specs!) that Eddy appreciated the initial hard work that we put in and loved us all the more because of it.

 Thanks and keep up the good work Mastiff Club!!!

 Paul Meyers