National Dog Day: The Irreplaceable Murphy!

On National Dog Day it's appropriate that I pay tribute to the dogs in my life. We'll start with my four-legged grandchild (dog) my sweet Zoey. I can't forget my "nephew" Duke, a Terrier that belongs to my sister Susan Eagle and her husband Mark. I've got to include my great-nephew Charlie who belongs to my niece Cassie and her boyfriend Evan. There's Duke & Daisy, a couple of Labs that belong to John and Dina Davis. There's the lovable Sherman, a Golden Retriever belonging to Rick and Cathy Schnelker. Of course there's Grayson, a Chihuahua-mix who belongs to my pal Ron Rose. There are so many more, some gone and some still always ready to greet me when I visit.

The one I treasure the most is the one who left a Yorkie-sized hole in my heart some 10 years ago, and that's Murphy. Murphy belonged to my then mother-in-law-to-be in Florida. When she passed away we agreed to take him. Since our landlord would not allow pets, Murphy spent the first six months or so of his new life with Kelly's good friend Debbie who lives in the Cleveland area. Kelly and I got married and found a house after which Murphy came to live with us in his furever home.

We have so many great memories of Murphy. He was all personality! That cute face (shown above) once graced the pages of a national day-by-day calendar one year. He thought he was a bad-ass...the neighborhood tough guy, ready to challenge any other dog as long as there was a chain link fence between them. That ferocity cost him a torn knee ligament. He loved to play ball on the stairs. He'd stand at the top and drop the ball to us, it would bounce down the stairs to us and we'd throw it back to him. This process would repeat over and over and over. He loved human food. I'll never forget him getting a hold of a chicken wing...that was a tough fight to get that out of his mouth. There was the time at one of our cook-outs he climbed on top of an ice chest to get to the cheesecake. He ate half then puked like a human the rest of the evening. I swear this dog could tell time. Every night precisely at 11:00 he would wake up, jump off the couch and stand at the ready for his nightly Milk-Bone treat. He also knew he would receive a treat each time he went outside to go potty. He had us well trained. He loved everyone and was a wonderful part of the family.

His final days were awful. He started having seizures, started going blind and losing control of his bowels. It wasn't long before we had to have him put down. He was about 15 years old. We miss him terribly and have yet to seriously consider getting another pet.

When I pass away my first stop will be at The Rainbow Bridge. I believe Murphy will be waiting there for a kiss and a hug and...a treat.

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