A Tribute to Murphy Jean

Hiking in Sedona 2014

I will miss the hair.

Years ago, I read a FB post that went something like this. “I do not mind the dog hair in my house, on my furniture or anywhere else for that matter, because I know that one day it will be gone, and I will miss it.”

That day has arrived for us. Our beloved Murphy has crossed rainbow bridge.

Fourteen years ago, Murphy came to us from Happy Tales Rescue while we were living in Nashville. And for fourteen years, she blessed us with unconditional love and endless laughs (I used to throw a towel over her head and laugh as she would just wait patiently for me to remove it).

Like us, she loved travel and exploration. From Nashville to St. Louis to Phoenix and finally Portugal. We hiked rugged trails, walked sandy beaches, and strolled ancient cobblestone streets.

Also like us, one of the best parts of traveling was the food; be it scrambled eggs and sausage from the hotel breakfast buffet or a chicken breast for lunch, Murphy always ate well on the road.

Around town, we were a common fixture; many people recognizing her before seeing me. She accompanied me to the markets, the cafés, even the doctor’s office where she waited quietly, much to the surprise of those who saw her unattended.

As the years passed and her body began to fail, her adventures with me became fewer and fewer. Seeing me alone, people would stop and ask, with looks of dread if she was ok. I would assure them that she was fine, just too old to be far from home.

That will no longer be my answer.

At first, the pain in her arthritic hips was manageable with medications. But after a while, she could barely stand. About the same time, she started to have lung problems, and finally her liver.

The decision to let her go was made in love, but that does not ease the pain.

Still, I am glad that we were with her right to the end, holding her paw.

The last thirty days have been filled with anguish. First, Thene’s mom passed, and then a dear friend in Nashville. We’ve also read many tales about those who lost spouses, siblings, even children.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all who are grieving.

Hold on to the memories. Cherish the little things.

As for me. I will miss the hair.

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