Just under eight years ago, my beautiful cousin, Fiona, called me to tell me she had got a puppy.
"He's like 'Hooch' in 'Turner and Hooch'".
It had been a while since I'd seen the film, so rather than trying to describe him, Fio said she'd just bring him round.
I'll never forget the day I first set eyes on Neo.
Bouncy, fluffy, jowly, with the biggest paws I'd ever seen. And amber eyes. He ran around the garden eating everything, and then had a great big poop. He was gorgeous. And enormous.
Neo was more than a dog, a pet. He was loyal, loving and completely sweet-natured. He was protective, solid and dependable. He was funny, and daft and completely handsome. He harumphed and gurgled under his breath. When he wanted love, he would come and lean all of his massive weight on you and wait till you tickled and cuddled him. He loved Fio, and was there for her always through the years they spent together.
Whenever I went to visit, he greeted me at the door, and waited to be loved. Then he followed Fio and I into the kitchen and sat down for the duration.
It was incredibly easy to love Neo.
Neo grew poorly in recent months and today, Fio had to take him on his last visit to the vet's.
I love my cousin Fio, and I love Neo and will miss him.
Here he is...