Archives For Pets

My best friend is gone

March 1, 2016

Murphy goodbye

Waves of grief and gratitude have crashed down on me over the last several days. Yet I looked into her eyes and I knew she understood and that we would both be ok.

Like every soul-shaking loss I’ve endured in life, I just need time. Time does not heal, but it helps soften the blow…a little bit…day by day.

I’m normally frustrated by my mind. I have an awful memory. But in times like this, I need to wrap myself up in my natural tendency to forget the details over time like it’s a security blanket protecting me from painful flashbacks for which I am not prepared.

Trying to stop the tears proves as futile as trying to hold onto her forever.

Sixteen years. I was blessed to have my pug, Murphy, in my life…and in my family’s life…for 16 whole years. She started off with just me and Ryan. Throughout the course of her lifetime, she gained a brotha-from-anotha-mother canine companion named Eightball (who passed away on June 3, 2010 and now waits for me on this side of the Rainbow Bridge) as well as two human brothers (now 14 and 12 years old) and a human sister (now 7 years old).

My kids have never known life without her. Hell, it’s hard for ME to remember life without her…and even harder to imagine life moving forward without her.

It is clear to me that my heart has a tendency to latch onto and love those who snore the loudest: My grandma Peterson, Murphy, and Ryan.

(I’m doing my best to remember to laugh.)

She was not in pain. She simply had finished her journey here. She was tired. I am a lot to take care of, after all.

Dogs love with every bone in their body. I know they’re not for everyone and I never try to convince a non-dog person that they should change their mind. What I will say is “think of something in your life that you love so much that it’s incomparable to anything else.” That’s how my dogs have made me feel over the years. I couldn’t ever fully pay back their love, but I tried.

I could rehash 1,000 stories about Murphy, but I feel like pictures reveal more than any words ever could.

My best friend is gone. But not forgotten. And I have to believe that one day I will see her again.

October 4, 1999 – March 1, 2016

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Written by Heidi Woodard

Monday morning started off with me warning the kids that the time may have finally come for us to say goodbye to our longtime canine companion, Murphy the Pug. She’s 15 years old.

pug life

Pug life. Respect.

All three of them got to see me wipe away buckets of tears on the way to school. You see, my husband and I have had Murphy (he named HER after Dale Murphy despite the fact she’s a female) longer than we’ve been parents to our human children.

  
She had continued to eat like normal, but for roughly four straight days, her water bowl had remained untouched.

She was also acting a lot more lethargic and uninterested in her normal activities. She had gotten sick and had a few accidents (but, if I’m being honest, Murphy’s had random episodes of both over the past year because she’s an old lady who tends not to care what others think of her behavior).

Google “pug personality traits” if you think I’m being facetious.

Doesn't she look so sad? I took this picture to shove in my husband's face when he inevitably questions the vet bill.

Doesn’t she look so sad? I took this picture to shove in my husband’s face when he inevitably questions the vet bill.

After booking an appointment with our family vet and taking her for what I feared was our last slow walk together, I sat by her side on the couch and let her know it was ok for her to go if that’s what was meant to be.

I had to put her brother-from-another-mother down several years ago and I’ve never quite recovered from that experience. Murphy and I had come to an agreement, after we had to say goodbye to Eightball, that she was to pass away peacefully in her sleep when the time was right so I wouldn’t need to go through that heart-wrenching decision ever again.

Miraculously, at the vet’s office, her blood work showed no signs of impending doom. Her kidneys were not failing like I had feared. I learned by talking to the vet, in between sobs and sniffles, that he had to put his own dog down that very same day. Rarely have I felt more comforted and understood than I did by him in that moment.

Fast forward to today. Murphy is like a Timex watch – she takes a licking and keeps on ticking.

She’s not happy with me for making her leave the comfort of her Dora coach for follow-up care, and we continue to monitor her behavior, but for now…my heart remains whole.

Murphy in her favorite lounger.

Murphy in her favorite lounger.

Written by Heidi Woodard

$92

March 14, 2013

Sometimes life gets a little fuzzy as you fight to prevent something drastic from rocking your world.

Earlier this week, I noticed my dog, Murphy, wasn’t acting like her normal peppy self. (Read on…I promise there’s a happy ending.)

my best pal with paws

my best pal with paws on her human sister’s Dora couch

I shouldn’t be surprised that she’s slowing down. After all, she’s 13 canine years old, which I think translates to somewhere between the advanced directive phase and nursing home stage for people.

Problem was…she slowed down considerably in a very short amount of time and her eyes conveyed she was in serious discomfort. I can’t remember ever seeing her head hang so low or her tail tucked so far between her legs.

As I drove Murphy to the vet, my mind filled with fear. I am not yet prepared to make any decisions about her quality of life. In all honesty, I will never be ready for that.

I had to put her canine companion down in June 2010 and I haven’t fully recovered from that experience. I doubt I ever will.

Murphy epitomizes what it means to be a good friend. She won’t resent you for ignoring her. She’s simply there for you when you need her the most.

She was my first child before I had children. She was the first living, breathing soul who relied on me, who made me realize life was bigger than me.

And, yes, I know I sound like a crazy dog lady right now, but for anyone who thinks that way, I will simply smile knowing that you’ve never had a dog like her.

As I carried her into the vet’s office, her demeanor changed immediately. Her tail returned to its curled-up, wagging state while her entire body perked up. I thought to myself, Awesome. All she needed was a change of scenery. A very expensive change of scenery no doubt.

Turns out she needed to have her a_al sacs drained (edited for those eating right now). Ninety two dollars later, we walked away with two prescription meds and  a greater understanding of a dog’s anatomy than I ever dreamed possible.

Why would I take the time to share this diagnosis, you ask? Because I find it ironic that a pain in the butt made me rethink my life today.

I guess I needed to tell you all how happy I am to still have my furry friend by my side.

Created by Heidi Woodard