Banjo Mashington
8/6/2005 - 5/17/2019Friends,
Over the course of our lives, we are sometimes fortunate enough to meet another living being that gives us unconditional love and affection: our animal partner. When you have a bad day, our animal partners don’t care. All of that is all washed away when you cross the threshold to your home where your best bud is waiting for you with open arms (or paws I guess), no matter what. There is nothing like the look on a dog’s face when you walk through that door - no matter what happened moments before or throughout the day, it’s like seeing you come home is the best thing that ever happened to them. It’s truly priceless.
I was fortunate enough to happen across my perfect companion 14 years ago. When Banjo was dropped into my life, I was wholly unprepared to raise a dog. We somehow figured it out and now a decade and a half later, I have to say goodbye to him. I’m not ready….we never are. But life and death are inextricably tied together in a manner that simple words will never do justice.
As I’ve wandered around the last 14 years, I’ve been incredibly lucky to have my best friend at my side throughout this journey. He’s been with me for all the ups, the downs, the in-betweens and the great adventures. From hanging out behind the booth at a beer festival when he was 8 weeks old to being named Ambassador of the Rogue Nation, he’s lived a full and rewarding life. He’s been to national parks (Crater Lake, Badlands) and countless state parks. He swam in the Atlantic and the Pacific and countless rivers and streams in between. He’s stayed up all night at parties and met more friends than I can even think of along our journey together.
He’s been in quarrels with raccoons, possums, dogs, and cats. He’s stared down goats, horses and cows. Banjo has played more fetch than anyone thought was possible, and he has plunged headfirst into huge waves just to get the ball. He’s been an absolute mad lad and I’ve loved every second of it. His boundless energy was unmatched, and his enthusiasm for life will always be a source of inspiration.
Throughout his life, Banjo was also fortunate enough to spend time with his dog family-- Mojo (his dad) and Trinity (his mom) and Hildegard (his sister). He’s outlived all of them.
Banjo grew up in an era where social media was just becoming popular, and a lot of people have followed us on our adventures together through that lense. We thank everyone for keeping tabs on us and for making sure we’re up to no good (mischief managed!).
Several years ago, after a day at the beach, I noticed that he was struggling to walk on the way home. That moment made me realize that we were entering the endgame. Throughout that time, I’ve tried to make sure that he could enjoy all that he could.
We’ve shared a roof with several dogs, cats and humans. But at the end of the day, it was always the two of us. At the end of the day on Friday April 17, 2019 it will only be me (his watch has ended).
While this is the saddest moment of my life to date, I’m incredibly happy that I’m with close friends and family. I’m overjoyed that Banjo and I have been able to provide positive experiences for people. I’ll end with two quick quotes that I hope encapsulate our time together:
“Goodbyes are not forever,
Goodbyes are not the end.
They simply mean I’ll miss you,
Until we meet again.”
"You were worth it, old friend, and a thousand times over.”
― Wilson Rawls, Where the Red Fern Grows
Steve MashingtonPhiladelphia, PennsylvaniaOctober 16, 2020
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