June 14, 2017


I remember it as though it happened yesterday.  It was just before Christmas in 2003 and I was working second shift at Travel Guard.  My co-worker, Donia, approached me to ask if I was interested in getting a dog.  Her Boston Terrier had delivered a litter of puppies earlier in the month and she was looking for homes for them to avoid taking them to the Portage County Humane Society.

The Huz and I had been married two years and we were experiencing many struggles with my fertility.  I had wanted to be pregnant so desperately but my PCOS was causing a lot of issues.  I had decided to start the Atkins diet with another co-worker just before Thanksgiving and was losing weight consistently each week, but not being able to conceive despite trying for almost a year was getting me down.

I had never heard of the Boston Terrier breed and after a Google session, I learned everything I needed to know about them.  These little dogs were so cute and full of energy according to what I read.  I could picture myself walking a dog every night and having a canine companion to take my mind off getting pregnant.

I went home that evening and told Doug I wanted to get a dog and when I told hi about the breed he said, half-jokingly, “F*ck no! We don’t need a weird looking dog like that.”  As far as I was concerned the topic wasn’t open for discussion, I wanted a dog and I was going to get one.  Looking back on it now, I realize I should have had a real conversation about it with the Huz, but I think he understood I was trying to fill a void where a child should have been.

The next day at work I told Donia I was very interested and paid a deposit.  She told me she’d be bringing the available pups to work a few weeks later and I could pick out the one I wanted.  When the day arrived and I saw four adorable little Bostons in a basket, I knew exactly which one I wanted: the only male left in the bunch.  He was absolutely perfect.  Smaller than the others, but the second I held him in my hands (yes, he was that small) I knew he was going to be mine.

Doug was a little miffed when I brought this puppy home just after New Year’s Day 2004.  I named him Murphy because of my love of anything Irish.  I told him I would handle all the dog duties. The first four days I slept on the couch with my hand in the basket he slept in because he would whimper if he couldn’t be next to me.  But each day that passed I noticed my strong and stubborn husband was falling in love with our new little family member.

Imagine my surprise when almost 5 weeks after bringing Murphy home I discovered I was pregnant.  It was such an exciting and happy moment. My little Murphy was a good luck charm.  I was so focused on puppy training, potty training and making sure he wasn’t chewing on the furniture.  I wasn’t worried about ovulation, counting fertile days or making sure that I had enough ovulation predictor kits and pregnancy tests on hand.  Pregnancy just happened naturally as God intended it.

Murphy was my little buddy over that nine month period before my oldest son was born.  We went on many walks because this dog had so much energy.  I ended up losing weight during my first and second trimesters because of all the exercise.  And when I was later put on bed rest due to pre-eclampsia in August, my little puppy kept me company.  I’ll never forget the time when Iw as laying down on the couch with Murphy stretched across my lap, his head resting on my very large belly.  The baby kicked up a storm in my stomach and startled Murphy.  He stood up and began growling at my stomach as if an alien was going to exit through my belly button.  I laughed so hard at my crazy little dog. I loved him so much.

When my each of my boys arrived, Murphy protected them.  If anyone unfamiliar came to visit, Murphy would keep his eyes on their every move.  He even went so far as to sleep underneath the crib sometimes.

Murphy loved to sleep in our bed, deep under the covers or wrapped into our legs.  That dog was a furnace! He gave off so much body heat that we were often sweating.

Ab0ut two years ago my wild and energetic dog suffered an injury to his paw/leg.  We are still unsure of when or how it happened.  He was just limping out of the blue one morning.  Our vet believed it was arthritis and prescribed medication which did help for quite some time.

About six months ago Murphy had his first seizure in front of me.  I was panicked and scared but managed to get him down on the floor while he came out of it.  We thought it was a random occurrence but it happened twice more that evening, while he was sitting next to me on the couch.  I couldn’t handle it and screamed for the Huz to come and help me.   We took him back to the vet where he was prescribed phenobarbital, an anti-seizure medication.  Our vet was honest and told us it wouldn’t cure Murphy and that he most likely had a brain tumor.  The medication made him very groggy and tired for a few days, but then seemed to work because he had not had a seizure.  Our vet did say that eventually, the phenobarbital would stop working as his condition began to progress.

Today was the worst day.  I came home for lunch and Doug had just taken Murphy outside to go potty.  When he came back into the house 10 minutes later he was distraught.  Murphy had a seizure and lost control of his bowels (which had happened before with the other seizures).  I had to go back to work but about an hour after I left my oldest son messaged me to say that Murphy had two more seizures and that my husband was rushing him to the vet because he wasn’t coming out of the last one.

I called the Huz on his cellphone and he told me that the vet was looking at other medications.  He told me I should come down to the clinic right away.  I left work and when I arrived at the vet’s office the Huz said they gave him and IV with phenobarbital as well as valium to calm him down.  They were increasing the dose to see if it would stop the seizures and we’d have to come back that evening to pick him up.

The time came to go get Murphy and we got the news we didn’t want to hear.  Murphy had come out of the seizure, was even walking around in the kennel and barking at the vet techs.  He seemed to be doing fine until 30 minutes before we arrived when he had a grand mal seizure that lasted longer than all the others.  We asked to see our boy and he was still twitching despite getting another dose of phenobarbital and valium.  My heart began to ache because I knew that this sweet little dog was not going to get better.

Dr. Tom told us that we could increase the doses of medicines, and try a second anti-seizure medicine, but it would take some time to acquire that particular medication.  In the meantime, we’d have to go home with a syringe of medication and immediately inject Murphy should he have a seizure in the middle of the night.

I started to cry and told the Huz that it wasn’t right to keep Murphy alive if he was going to suffer or be in pain.  The Huz asked if we could keep him at the clinic overnight and make a decision in the morning, but our vet told us no one would be there to take care of him or administer the medication.  I couldn’t bear to leave Murphy alone in case anything happened.

We decided that it was time to put down our beloved Murphy.  The Huz was having a very difficult time processing this, and I felt awful for suggesting it, but I could see it in Murphy’s eyes.  He was in pain.  He was trying to tell us it was time to let him go.  We said our goodbyes and gave our dog many hugs and kisses.  The kids were able to say goodbye as well.

I didn’t want the kids to see the actual procedure so the Huz was in the room while I comforted the boys.  My husband called me back into the room a few minutes later.  He said it was a quick and painless procedure, and very peaceful.  I hugged my boy one more time and then it was time to leave him. I’m sobbing as I write this because I cannot believe my Murphy is gone.  I look in the corner of the room where his bed was this morning and I cry.  I miss him so much. It hurts so badly.  My husband and my children are devastated, too.  This sucks…so much. I couldn’t even fall asleep last night.  I’d wake up and cry.

Through it all, I know we made the right decision.  Murphy is in a better place. He’s running wild in Heaven with Daisy.  And Shadow.  And Cade.  I’ll love you forever, Murphy Lee.  Life won’t be the same without you.  All dogs go to Heaven…I’ll see you again.

Posted by Dana @ 11:48 AM • Murphy   

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Dana began her Mom career in 2004 with the birth of her first child. A mother of three boys, she spends her days putting out fires, climbing mountains and chasing monsters.
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