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  • Northside West

Man’s best friend

Thursday, 12th October, 2017 8:00am
Man’s best friend

Sam when he was just a few months’ old.

Man’s best friend

Sam when he was just a few months’ old.

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AN IMPULSE decision to get a pup ended up helping save the life of a Finglas photographer.

Frank Malone told the Humans of Dublin Facebook page last week that he was feeling unwell and struggling with his mental health when he decided to get Sam.

“Within five years I had lost one of my best friends and found my uncle dead in his house, and they were both very close to me,” he said.

“I never really talked about it. I kept it to myself and because of that, I didn’t get to grieve. My mental health was up and down and to put it bluntly, I was struggling.”

Frank bought Sam, a thoroughbred Collie, from a Longford farmer back in 2008. Since then, both of them have come on in leaps and bounds, but back then it was a difficult period for Frank.

Sam gave his owner hope and Frank was able to do for his friendly, furry friend what he couldn’t do for himself at the time. The two bonded, even though Frank was still experiencing dark moments. 

“One day, I was stopped in traffic on the Samuel Beckett Bridge,” he said. “It was a terrible, grey, rainy day. I was about to get out of the car and jump off the bridge.

“The tide was high and all I was thinking was how long it would be before I was no longer breathing. But my pal was with me, looking at me as he does. He depends on me for food and lodging, everything. I didn’t jump that day because of him. He saved me many times… man's best friend.”

Frank is a qualified physcotherapist, a yoga teacher and a professional photographer, but his candid story of when he was struggling struck a chord when it was posted on the Humans of Dublin Facebook page.

It’s been viewed close to 200,000 times on Facebook and over 12,000 times on Instagram and has attracted supportive comments, including many from people who have shared that their canine companion is also their lifesaver.

“I was quite moved by some of the comments about people and their dogs,” Frank told Northside People. “I got Sam because I knew that no matter what was going on for me, I’d have to look after him. Things happen to people, they don’t talk about it and they get unwell. People are struggling everywhere and there’s an epidemic of suicides but there’s always, always, always help available. Talk to someone: a friend a colleague, a professional - anyone. People won't know what's going on with you unless you tell them.”

If you have been affected by this story, call the Samaritans 24 hour freephone helpline on 116123, Pieta House on 1800-247247 or text help to 51444. See also www.samaritans.org and www.yourmentalhealth.ie.

 

Frank Malone with his best pal, Sam.

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here