Yesterday was a hard day. Today’s not much better. I didn’t realise how hard it would be to say goodbye. Murphy the dog was 17, a grand old age and he had a wonderful life here in Sussex. We adopted him from Last Chance in Edenbridge just over 15 years ago, a rescue centre that accepts animals from pounds in Wales that are on their ‘last chance’. We went to choose a dog, medium to small and anything but black – we weren’t being colourist, we had recently lost 2 black dogs in the family and didn’t want a ‘replacement’ – but Murph, a black dog, chose us. Without saying anything at the time, both Jim and I stopped briefly at every pen including the one containing ‘Melbourne’ the black dog with the wide face and brown eyes. At the last pen we looked at eachother and said ‘it has to be Melbourne’.
The family’s first job was to rename him. Names went into a hat and Homer won but only lasted a couple of days before we chose again. Murphy it was. How many times have we shouted out that name and in how many tones! When he first came home we had a picket fence surrounding one area of the garden which, after belting around and creating a furrowed figure of 8 in the lawn, Murphy sailed over with ease. We raised the fence. Ditto. We raised it even higher with some trellis. He sailed over the fence and left a Murphy shaped hole in the trellis.
Murphy was a joyful dog. Hurtling. That was how he moved until later years when arthritis kicked in. Even cataracts didn’t stop him hurtling on occasions, very often straight into a tree, bush or person.
Don’t rest in peace, Murphy. Be joyful again. Hurtle away now. xx