Thursday, May 10, 2012

In Memory: Saying Goodbye

I know it is probably too soon to write this. It hasn’t even been 48 hours. But I don’t know what else to do and since I can't bring myself to talk to anyone, maybe this will help me cope.

Murphy as a puppy

Murphy was my baby. We adopted him when he was just 8 weeks old. He was the first dog I ever raised and I was so afraid I’d screw things up. But he was a perfect fit. I trained him, I played with him, I loved him. I still love him and I feel like I just lost a part of me. The house just feels so empty without him.  

Murphy and Scout

Murphy was the only dog for a few years but he had a lot of friends. Eventually, they either moved or passed away and he seemed sad. So, of course, we got him a brother. Scout was so little that, at first, Murphy was scared of him. He used to run away or jump over him whenever Scout attempted to get close. But Scout got bigger and they became the best of friends/brothers. Murphy was Scout’s world and I can see he’s a little confused and sad too.

Backpacking partner

Murphy was the kind of dog that you could take anywhere and be sure he’d listen. Not that he was perfect. There were occasions during the ‘terrible twos and teenage years’ but he was about as close as you could get. He loved going for walks, backpacking (if it wasn’t raining and there was a hotel room waiting for him) and swimming. He never really needed a leash either. He was the perfect companion for us.  

Probably the most remarkable thing about him was his gentleness. There wasn’t a dominant bone in his body. He loved other dogs, cats, women… But Murphy wasn’t just sweet; he was sensitive, very smart and understood things on such a deep level 

that it was sometimes disturbing. I could give him a look and he knew what to do. And I could look at him and know how he was feeling and/or what he needed (of course this was also because of our bond and Murphy being a mama's boy). The night before he died, he slept with me. At one point we just stared at each other, and I knew, but I still wasn’t prepared to lose him—to never see him again.

We took Murphy to the vet Tuesday night because he was having trouble breathing and didn’t look right. He had stopped eating and had already lost a lot of weight within a few days. Worst of all, the Murphy we knew and loved was fading (don’t know how else to describe it). I expected the worst but was hopeful I was being paranoid. Everyone who examined him got that look – the one that says, ‘this is really bad – those poor people’. Finally, the vet examined him and told us he suspected Lymphoma and asked to take a sample. We waited. I cried. The vet came back and said Murphy had stage 3 cancer and it was throughout his body. After discussing the options, we agreed euthanasia was the most humane thing to do. I just couldn’t bear the thought of him suffering or putting him through procedure after procedure just to prolong his life a few months, a year. What kind of life would he have had for that little bit of extra time? This was quite possibly the most difficult and painful decision I’ve ever made. We stayed with him until it was time to go and that was such a hard goodbye. He gave us kisses and let me hold him but I think he knew what was happening. I can’t help feeling like I abandoned him even though I know it was the right thing to do.  

4/2002 - 5/2012

I lost a piece of my heart Tuesday and I hope Murphy has it with him wherever he is. He gave me so much love and happiness and I’m grateful for the time I had with him. He was my boy, my Murphy Pup.  


  1. Beth, my heart is breaking for you. I am so sorry for your loss of such a sweet and loveable companion. I know I have no words to make the pain go away or to even make it better. Just know that I'm here for you and thinking of you and Shawn.

  2. I'm so sorry! We have a 13 y/o that is getting to that point. It breaks my heart to think he won't be there someday.

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful memories of your sweet Murphy. Big hugs to you!!

    1. Thanks, Sharon. It really is hard as they get older and you start thinking about the inevitable.

  3. Aww, my heart goes out to you, Beth. My dogs are 15 and 17 this year, and I know I'm going to be devastated when they go. Our furry friends hold s special place in our hearts and touch our lives in so many ways. Thanks for sharing, my thoughts are with you.

  4. Beth,

    I know your pain but you have to consider the great life you guys gave him. I do believe our pets wait for us and guide us into eternity so cheer up if I am right you we be together again where there is no pain or sickness.

  5. That was beautiful. I am so sorry that you and Shawn had to go through this. I am sure Murphy was glad to not go through the pain. You have beautiful memories and photos of him and that will help later. Thinking of you my friend. Lots of love.

  6. Thank you for your kind words, everyone - I really appreciate it.