It is like being in the ocean, a wave gliding toward me, I am lifted gently to its crest and just before the curl froths, I slide quickly to the bottom of the trough. Right now I am approaching the knife-edge of the crest. I know I will soon be sliding down, deep into the dark forlornness of loss.
I had to say good-bye to my precious little dog Murphy today.
I guess my life had pretty much been defined by his for the past couple of years, maybe even before that when he had acl surgery in 2010, then his gall-bladder became sick, finally kidney failure, and, 3 days ago his kidneys simply stopped functioning at all. For those moments, hours, days, weeks and months since I have been happy to have my definition follow who he was becoming. Caring for him was easy. He was a joy. He taught me so much- about patience, kindness, handling perceived rebuffs, and most of all making the best of things. He’d been born with a kneecap on his left hind leg out of place. The specialist thought surgeries would be best. But he did fine without surgery until he needed his acl replaced on his knee. He made it through all of that fine. He loved his walks, rides in the car, but most of all meeting people. He did not care for other dogs at all and certainly loved chasing cats, but he received people with such joy and bubbled over with happiness of greeting them, whether they were known to him or not.
I know I will begin that slide of the aching, the missing, the remorse over things I wish I’d taken more time to do, things I wish I’d not become so impatient over, things I wish I’d not complained about, but his doctor said I did do everything for him that I possibly could do. If they had organ transplants for dogs I likely would have pursued it, though at 12 he may not have been a candidate for it.
When we first met I was collecting my then-other dog, Savannah, from boarding. I heard crying and asked what it was. They said it was the last of a litter of puppies a vet tech’s boyfriend had thrown down the stairs, the others had been already adopted and that they did not expect him to live. I asked to see him. When they placed him in my hands (he was a tiny 4 weeks old) he stopped crying… I asked them to please let me know if they thought he’d make it and they called the next day. Thus began a wonderful friendship. He adored Savannah and she eventually warmed up to him. He followed her everywhere and when she was dying of lung cancer one afternoon he lay there watching her. Her chew bone was a ways from her. Murphy got up, picked up the bone, carried it to her and placed it in front of her. He went back and lay down again, watching her.
That’s what he did, who he was. Love. My first boy-dog.
I love you, Murphy. I loved you to pieces. I will miss you, forever.