"Preach the gospel at all times, if necessary use words." - St. Francis of Assisi

Friday, July 08, 2005

A Day of Loss

"A good man cares for the life of his animals." (Proverbs 12:10 ESV)

As you know, many of the ideas and inspirations for articles come from my dog, Murphy. It is amazing how watching a small dog can teach so many lessons that I can apply to my life. He had no formal training, i.e., he knew a lot of words and commands, just not what they meant. I could say “Sit” and he might sit, but it was just as likely that he would lick my ankle. “Stay” might as well mean that there was a treat hidden in the grass under the tree for all the good it did. But, let me say the word ‘ball’ and he would immediately perk his ears up and head for the backyard because he knew a time of throw and catch was coming. Oddly enough, he never quite understood the word “outside”, but if I said “It is 10:00, Murphy”, he would head to the back door. It could be any time at all, but 10:00 was his key word for a bathroom trip. Like I said, he isn’t the smartest dog in the world, but he taught me a lot through our adventures.

After fourteen years, my best friend and companion, Murphy, has passed away. He had been diagnosed with Cushing's disease and most recently with diabetes and his little terrier body just couldn't handle both of them. He has been with me through the best of times and the worst of times and was always waiting at the back door with a wagging tail and a licking tongue to welcome me home. During the bad times, he would curl up next to me on the bed or the sofa and take care of me as only a dog can. Every so often, he would turn his head to look at me and then give a little lick to let me know he was there. He had been feeling so bad for several days, was but never in any pain or suffering. That last night, I could sense that his time was short and I told him that “it was okay. He could let go and that I would miss him, but I would be okay”. Sometime, during the night, Murphy left my world peacefully in his sleep. There is a large hole now that is filled with pain and sorrow, but I'll be fine in time. There's something special about your first dog and Murphy was certainly something special. He taught me about unconditional love when I needed to learn it. He gave me many insights to life that I needed to learn.

I know it is not theologically sound, but, I would like to believe that Murphy and all of family pets everywhere that have gone on before him are someplace nice, sunny and full of treats, water and love. They are no longer old or sick, but just like we remember them best; running through the grass in the sun, chasing things underneath your feet while you try to cook a meal and pushing your newspaper out of the way so they can curl up on your lap.

As for me, it has been a tough couple weeks now and even though I still hurt inside and miss Murphy, the healing has begun. My niece is making a Murphy Scrapbook for me which will be a treasured possession. I wonder if my new aquarium will provide as many entertaining stories….you never know.

I'll never forget you, Murphy-dog. You were the best.


At 8:09 PM, Blogger Car Gal said...

Sorry foryou loss

At 9:39 PM, Blogger JOE B said...

I hate seeing any of my friends hurting. People without pets just do not understand the attachment we get with our pets. They are our family. I have been through it too my friend. Like I told you this morning, if you need anything, give me a call. I will be there, day or night.
I love ya man.
Your brother,

At 9:46 PM, Anonymous OldGuy said...

I've never had a dog but every time I hear that line in the song "Mr Bojangles" about how he still grieves over his dog 20 years after it died I get misty eyed.

Take care man.

At 10:17 AM, Anonymous absent.canadian said...

Sydney, Muskoka and our family offer our condolences.

At 10:48 AM, Blogger shannon said...

Oh, Jimmy ... I'm so sorry about Murphy. I know how you're grieving. Our dog, Bear, died a few years ago at the age of twelve. I don't think anyone was more upset than my husband. I'll pray that the rawness of this loss goes away quickly, leaving you with only good memories.

At 11:26 AM, Blogger Mouthy Mom said...

Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Our "boys" are both still puppies and I look forward to many years with them, I can't iamgine losing one.

Mouthy Mom

At 3:36 PM, Blogger Fran said...

I've kind of been lurking on your site and reading about your doggy. I am so sorry for your loss. I have been there and know how much it hurts. ((Jimmy))

At 8:39 PM, Blogger Tim Bailey said...

14 years. wow. That's a lot of memories. I'll never forget watching my dad after our family dog died after 15 years - bawling his eyes out...they become such a part of our lives...sometimes even to "tough" guys...

At 10:42 PM, Blogger Jimmy said...

My sincere thanks go to all of you who have sent your thoughts and comments my way. It has been a very tough couple of days so far and will probably take me quite awhile to get over the loss of my friendly little dog. But, he'll still pop up in my writings from time to time as other lessons I learned from Murphy come to mind.
Thanks again.

At 1:18 PM, Blogger Vicki said...

Hey Jimmy. I was saddened to read about Murphey passing away. I knew he had been sick and it would be hard whenever the time came. I don't have pets right now, but grew up on a small farm, but I remember the feeling when you wake up one day and your pet just isn't there anymore. God bless you, my friend.


At 11:58 AM, Blogger Nancy said...


I am so sorry to hear about Murphy, the unconditional love given to us by our four legged family members is amazing. If only we could learn that from them and put it into practice.

My prayers are with you and just know that Murphy is waiting for you in heaven so you can throw that ball for him again.

Take care

At 9:27 PM, Blogger Bar Bar A said...

Hey Jimmy, Murphy was blessed to have a life living alongside someone who loved him. Thank your for sharing his memory with us, I know he'll live in your memory forever. I still think of my loyal loving dog, Scooter, even though he's been gone for 15 years now.

God bless you,

At 2:39 PM, Blogger Jimmy said...

Thanks again for all the kind words of comfort and encouragement. This has been a tougher period than I ever imagined.I miss having his warm little body curled up next to me on the bed each night and having someone running to greet me with sloppy kisses everytime I come home. My niece is into scrapbooking and is going to do a Murphy scrapbook for me.
Again, thanks.

At 3:53 PM, Blogger Girl in Progress said...

I'm very sorry you lost a dear friend. I still think of my dear sweet dog I lost years ago.


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