Remembering Clarence “Mac” Mackey…An Animal’s Best Friend

Bob Mackey - An Animal's Best FriendAbout 6 years ago, Cathy [Mac’s daughter] and Barbara Mackey [Mac’s wife] hand delivered 100lbs of dog food, dog biscuits, rope and squeaky toys for the 4 rescue dogs I pulled from  New York’s Animal Care & Control (AC&C). With the bundles of goodies was a card from Cathy’s dad, Mac. The note read “Here’s something to help you fight the good fight,” and with it was a gift card to my local pet store. Mac was unable to come with them in person. Restricted by illness but not by spirit, Mac wanted to do whatever he could to help animals.

Touched by his thoughtfulness and gift, I asked Cathy, How do I thank him?

“He just wants to meet you,” she said.

Life got in the way as it always did and, let’s face it, my new rescues were demanding. But, I managed to carve out the time to meet Mac in person. As he sat in his comfy blue chair, surrounded by cards and pictures of dogs and cats, his eyes lit up when we met.

“I just had to meet the person who saved those dogs,” he said. His gratitude was genuine, his love for animals, palpable and his spirit, larger than life.

He and Barbara adopted a dog, Raven, who I started walking for them several times a week. Whenever I would see Mac, he’d say, “Hey! How ya doin!?” He’d collect articles for me about animals all the time or we’d share stories about the latest antics from one of my many impish rescue pups. “God Bless You, Michelle” he’d say whenever we parted ways. “God Bless You.” Honestly, those words never really meant anything before I met Mac. With his big spirit came a voice you could hear across Irvington.

Until today, January 29th.

Today, his voice is silent. After years of illness, his spirit could no longer will his body to continue on. Mac passed away early this morning surrounded by his family in the comfort of his home and his blue comfy chair. News of his passing is making its way through the sleepy town of Irvington. If you didn’t know him, I’m sorry to say, you’ve missed out.

Souls like Mac don’t come around often. You might meet one in your lifetime, if you’re lucky. A humble spirit filled with strength, courage and joy. I’m not sure I ever told him how much I admired him for who he was. It wouldn’t have meant anything anyway. Truthfully, it was the love I have for his dog and every other animal that touched him. It was my involvement in rescue that moved him. It was my “fighting the good fight” that was most meaningful.

And, so, in Mac’s honor, I’m asking each of you to do SOMETHING to “fight the good fight.” Give a bag of dog food to your local shelter, donate a blanket or some old sheets to rescue, share my story about Mac. Maybe, just maybe, someone will be moved to do something, even if it’s only once, to honor my dear friend.

For my rescue friends, please think of Mac with each dog and cat you pull. Please think of Mac when you’re about to pull every hair out of your head. Please think of Mac when you look at the freedom pictures of those we saved.

Mac, thank you for your friendship, your support, your passion, and your belief in our rescues. I cherished our friendship and hope I can one day be the person your eyes told me I was.

Rest in peace, dear friend.

Please don’t let Mac’s passing go unnoticed. Keep “fighting the good fight” for him.

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