Sunday, September 7, 2008

A special someone

I am very fortunate to have a special guy in my life. Not your ordinary Tom, Dick or Harry. A really handsome fellow whom I adore, and who adores me right back. He’s faithful, loyal and true.

Yeah, okay, I can’t take him to the movies on a Friday night, but we’ve had many great walks in the park and shared countless meals. Of course, I do all the cooking but he’s pulls his weight as a primo pot scrubber.

That’s him on the left. The big guy with the sweet face. His name is Murphy and we’ve been together for over fourteen years now. The little guy on the right is Nelson, the newest addition to the family.

The big palooka is moving a little slower these days. Arthritis and atrophy have slowed him down. He can barely hear. Cataracts dim his vision. He’s popping warts and fatty tumors all over his hobbled body. And much to my dismay, he’s has become the most gaseous creature on the planet. But his smile and spirit never fade, and I love him more than ever.

I watch him now when he sleeps, wondering if his breathing is really irregular or if it’s just my imagination. I try not too fuss over him when he has trouble getting up or show him special attention by offering one too many biscuits. He’s been my best friend and I’m preparing for the end.

I came across a little story I wrote about him a few years ago. I thought this might be a good time and place to revisit it.

Murphy Brown Dog

Almost ten years ago I decided I was responsible enough to bring a dog into my life, so I started calling rescue groups inquiring about adoption possibilities. I found a local organization that had an upcoming event.

Do you have puppies, I asked.

Oh yes, was the reply, half chortle, half sigh. We have puppies.

I eagerly headed to the adoption site and found a screened off area that had been set up for the pups. I watched as one by one they were brought out of a large van. Many furry black faces. Many. Then to my surprise, one light brown dog was presented.

My heart fluttered as I picked up the soft bundle. He lay quietly in my arms, his head on my shoulder.

What a laid back guy, I thought.

When I finally put him on the ground, he began circling in a whirlwind, like the Tasmanian devil from cartoon life, but with a happy stride. To this day when I call out “devil dog, the frenzy begins all over.

For many wonderful years, that happy, happy outlook has brightened my life. The smile has gone a bit lopsided, but the enthusiasm never wanes. From the first light of day when he places his head on my bed, to settling in for the night, all aspects of life are met buoyantly.

Over the years Murphy has been a friend to many fostered dogs whose lives were not as happy as his. He shared his cheerfulness with all who shared his home. A loving nature his gift to impart. And now he coaches a young, newly adopted brother – Nelson – through all of life’s lessons.

What joy and laughter and pleasure he has brought to my life. Every day I look him square in the eyes. Sweet, brown eyes. You’re the best puppy in the world, I say. Thanks for being my friend.


Diane Vogel Ferri said...

Pat, thanks for visiting and all your kind words. I think your blog is great and it's especially touching to me today - not just because I'm a dog lover - but because I had a shaggy brown mutt that looked a lot like Murphy - and I still miss her - but I got a new love, Stella. I'll visit again.

Kelly said...

What a great post! It made me think though....the kids take up so much time and energy that I forget about my first kid, Zoe. Yes, she is still alive and kicking, can you believe it? Thanks for reminding me to slow down a bit with her.

PS - I am one of those "one or two people" who read your blog, I am really enjoying it!

Pat (Pyzahn) said...

Thanks, Kelly. I'm sooo glad to hear that Zoe is going strong.

Joanne said...

What a lovely tribute so elequently put. I lost my English Setter last year to old age and my very dear best friend Jasper 2 years ago. I still miss him!

laurie said...

here's to murphy. and to you. well-matched and deeply in love and a happy happy life together.