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On Loss, Remembrance, and Renewal

Last Wednesday, we said goodbye to the Murphy-dog. I’m still not one-hundred percent sure what happened, because he was doing better, and then just sort of crashed, but due to several other health issues he’s been dealing with, we opted not to treat this time, and instead had him euthanized. Thanks to our amazing veterinary team, it was quick, peaceful, and I was able to be with the Murph right up to the end, even with pandemic precautions still in place.

Murphy was one of the best dogs we’ve ever had, bar none. Sweet, kind, independent, stubborn, smart, lazy, loud and seriously goofy. There will never be another quite like him, and I’m so glad we got to have him in our lives for the last five or six years.

As we all do, I deal with the grief and letting go in my own way. The day of is the hardest, and the next few days after a mixture of loss and guilt and second-guessing. Distractions are welcome from that point on, so things can be dealt with in small bites rather than big gulps. As I move through the next few weeks, I’ll remember the small moments as I move through my days, a sort of ongoing tribute as time passes. And much like Murphy’s head prints in the snowbank outside my back door (he loved to go out and rub his face in the snow, which always made me laugh), the pain will gradually fade and the memories will make me smile when some small, everyday thing brings them to mind.

After awhile, when you’ve lived and loved enough, this sort of ongoing random tribute happens a lot. I’ve said goodbye to seven dogs now, and I still remember each of them often, for specific things they liked and did and disliked. They are each always with me in spirit. I love that.

For now, it’s just Athena here with us, and she’s dealing with the loss in her own way. The happy howling is on hold (I miss that!), and she’s quiet, unsure. But like the rest of us, she’ll get through this, and soon enough, she’ll have a new friend to bond to and play with. Sometimes it takes awhile to find the right fit, but we’ll start looking this week.

Life will go on, as it always does. Happiness will prevail, as it always should.

We will make sure it does.

Rest well, my big, gentle goof.

Gone to the Dogs: New Kid in Town

Cruisin' the salad bar out back of my new digs...

    Cruisin’ the salad bar out back of my new digs…

Murphy sez: So I moved into a new place about a week ago, and I have to say, Keeper J runs a pretty tight ship. I mean, the first thing we had to do when I arrived (after my foster mom moved all my stuff) was go for a walk with my new housemate, Mica.

In the wind and rain. With no sidewalks. Uphill. For what felt like six miles.

The foster folks had disappeared by the time I got back to the new place. I looked for them a little bit, but there was so much to sniff and play with that I kind of got sidetracked. And then after I got my fancy new collar, I fell asleep early on a cozy bed I found in the living room. Had a nice soft blanket too, but man, these people keep their house warm, so I scooted out of it pretty quick.

Mica seems to like having me around most of the time, but if I get in his space when he’s not expectin’ it, he grumbles a little. I don’t really care – I just ignore him mostly. He’s kind of jumpy, but most of the time he’s pretty easy to get along with. I beat him up one time, so he’s respectful. We’ve had one other loud “discussion” since, but hey, two big bad dudes like us gotta work things out, ya know? Then we have a treat and chew some bones, maybe take a nap.

Mica sez: I am not grumpy. I just don’t like anyone in my space. Do you really have to shake those toys so hard? I thought that was my job! What am I supposed to do now? And seriously…rolling around on your back like some floozy? You’re weird, kid…but I like you. Mostly.

Murphy Sez: Shush – I’m talking here. What was I talking about? Oh right. That’s what I was talking about – tight ship. J has everything on a tight schedule around here, so it was pretty easy to figure out what happens when. I get super-excited about food, especially, so she says we have to work on the whole “waiting patiently and not barking” thing. I don’t know why. I mean, I’m just telling her I’m excited. Well, and to hurry up. ‘Cause that patience thing isn’t one of my virtues, or so she tells me. What’s a virtue, anyways? Can I eat it?

Kids these days, I swear...

                            Not grumpy!

Mica sez: Only if J says so. I eat random things, I get sick for a good twelve hours. But if it smells good…

Murphy sez: I had to spend most of the weekdays in J’s office, on account of she didn’t want Mica and me to fight while she was at work. I have two beds in there though, and some bones and toys, and the radio playing, so it’s…cozy. I’m kinda getting tired of it though, and told her so. Loudly. She says we’ll work on it this weekend. She did let me stay out with Mica while she went and got a pizza, but I still had to wear that stupid cone around my neck. J says it’s gonna be longer before I can ditch that thing. But she thinks I will, eventually.

Mica sez: That thing is weird, dude. You’d better work yourself out of it soon. It looks ridiculous! But it’s a good way to keep a personal buffer. Maybe I need one of those, come to think about it. Or a bubble. Bubbles are fun. But kinda scary.

Murphy sez: I even had to go to the doctor this week, just to meet the new doc, and have her look at my leg. She and J talked for way too long after I was ready to get home, but I got lots of pets and loves, and some new tags for my collar, and then we went home. So it was okay, I guess. I loved the people, but the waiting and prodding and poking? Not so much.

Mica sez: I can’t believe you got to go for a ride and I didn’t. So. Not. Fair. But I’m glad you came back.

Murphy sez: Me too! It’s been a really busy week with lots of new stuff going on, but I’m doing good, and I have warm blankies at night and bunny patrol with Mica through the neighborhood every day (when it’s not raining). I even have squirrels to watch in the neighbor’s trees! I’m gonna catch one of those fuzz-buckets some day…

Mica sez: Mmm…small fuzzy things. We should definitely team up for that. And barking at the window too. But you gotta watch the couch dismount, Murph.

MurphyBedtime


Want more Murphy & Mica? Tune in next Friday! No foolin’!  🙂