I was recently sent a link to a Post about a Golden Retriever named Murphy (aka Murph!). The Post was very emotional, but what caught my attention was the quote from a 5 year old boy! The Post (below) has been heavily edited to bring it down an easy-read size:
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Murphy turned 7 years old last September. While that isn’t old by most yardsticks, even for most dogs, that’s starting to get up there for a golden retriever. I wrote a few times about him last year, as I was so happy that he’d had a resurgence of energy to run with me late last year, after not being into it for what felt like a long time.
This past Saturday morning, my wife and I noticed that Murph — that’s what I called him most of the time; I named him for the 1980s-era Atlanta Braves outfielder Dale Murphy — just wasn’t himself. Where he was normally energetic and excited for treats, and went straight to the door whenever he saw me pick up his leash, now he was lethargic. When we let him out in the morning to go the bathroom, he simply laid down on our back deck and stared at the yard.
My wife told me later that she knew something was up because she’d been able to finish her cup of coffee; normally he’s back in the house in a flash after he goes potty, because he’s excited to get a rawhide treat, which means you’re barely able to sit down for a moment when you let him out, because he’s back so quick. So my wife suggested trying a short walk to see how he’d do, just a few paces down our street.
He could barely walk the distance to our next door neighbor’s and back. I picked him up — no easy task with a 91-lb. dog — and brought him back over to our house. My wife saw, and we both knew we needed to go to the vet right then and there.
Everyone in our family was there at the vet’s office when we first got there. My 5-year-old son, my 14-year-old stepdaughter, my wife and me, with Murphy on the floor of the exam room, his breathing slowly but surely sounding more labored. We noticed that every 8th or 10th breath, he’d have to take in a really big breath, as if he was unable to fill up his lungs with a normal breath anymore.
The doctor said that he had begun the process of dying. When he took me back and showed me the ultrasound screen, my rational mind knew this wasn’t good. But when he used that phrase, my heart finally realized what was really going on.
The two of us were there with Murphy, giving him love and caressing his ears and his paws and his sides, as slowly but surely he slipped away. It took only a few moments, and he was peaceful and serene at the end.
Murphy has been an adoring, loyal pet to our family, but so much more — he’s been my running buddy after the group of friends I used to run with split up for a variety of reasons (some moved, some got divorced, some quit running). He’s been there with me through thick and thin, never wavering, always there with a nuzzle and a snuggle.
We’re all really sad here right now. But I keep thinking of something my son said a few weeks ago, when he and my wife and me were riding in my car. It’s hard to believe these words came from the mind of a 5-year-old, but I’m here to tell you he said them: “Sadness is kind of sweet, because sadness is about happiness.”
It is indeed.
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“Sadness is about happiness” – Who would have thought such a profound observation could come from the mind of a 5 year old? Just thinking.
Rest in Peace dear Murph(y).