Thursday, June 10, 2010

Murphy the marshmallow

Murphy is our dog. Actually, he's T's dog from before we met. He's a handsome, incredibly gentle, well behaved (white) yellow Labrador. In short, the absolute best dog anyone could ask for. But he's been driving us crazy lately and frankly I feel like a bitch for feeling that way. I don't think he'll be with us too much longer.


Murphy is now close to 13 1/2 years old. I actually just found out he was this old because for 3 years whenever anyone asked T said he was 10 years old (denial?). I pointed this out to him a few years ago and we laughed. But still, somehow I thought he was only about 11 or 12 maybe, certainly not over 13! Somehow that changes things immensely. At 11 or 12 I figured he'd still have a couple of years. At 13, with the issues he's experienced this year I'm not so sure.


His hips are not good. He's on arthritis meds that cost about $50 a month which are also effecting his liver but do help. He has lost some bowel control and poops in the house a lot. He's also becoming less well behaved, sticks his nose in the garbage, tries to steal food from the kids plates, won't come when called; fortunately he's still as gentle as ever. We haven't had it checked but I'm fairly certain his hearing is going too—that or he's becoming obstinate in his old age.


For now the meds are allowing him to keep walking, but he's slow, falls often and has trouble with stairs and the wood floors. We will have to put him down if he gets to the point where he can't walk. At that point it would be the humane choice. We've talked about it, T complains about him at least as much as I do but I know it's going to be extremely hard on him when the time comes. I'm not sure how the kids will be. I'm not even sure how I'll be.


It's strange that I felt like writing about this now. I think I needed to because mostly all I feel is annoyance at him. Thinking about what's really going on, getting past the inconvenience of cleaning up after him all the time helps me feel more compassionate and less anger. Murphy does not deserve any anger, he's been a wonderful faithful companion during his entire long life.


Anonymous said...

We're in the same boat, but not as bad. Our Billy is definitely showing his age. He's just turned 14. He moves slow and with difficulty and hearing is definitely a problem. I often trip on him. I think it is because he didn't hear me. Also he has made a habit of rooting through the kids backpacks in hopes of some leftovers from lunch, which makes a mess, something he never used to do and is certainly more aggressive with food in general. Fortunately, he still does his business outside. It's so hard to see them this way whey they've been such a wonderful companion for so many years. Best wishes to you and Murphy!

dawn said...

Hey! Nice to 'hear' from you. It IS hard to see him and also know there really isn't much that can be done but hope they stay comfortable. I hope you and ALL of your boys are doing well.

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