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Rest in Paradise, my Sweet Murphy

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For as long as there is a memory, they'll live on in our hearts.

My sweet, loyal and brave boy fought his battle with cancer and held out for as long as he could. Murphy rallied so many times he almost seemed bionic, but this was his final chapter. It was God's plan.

Murphy braved battles with bone cancer, Cushings, pancreatitis, a stroke, and cheated death several times. The cancer severely limited his mobility, but it did not limit his capacity to live and love.

It seems like a lifetime ago that this adorable miniature dachshund stole my heart.
He literally chose me, climbed up onto my lap, scaled my arm and nuzzled my neck. We were joined at the hip, best buddies for most of my adult life. Murphy was by my side for more than 15 years, comforting me through grad school and brutal all-night study sessions, cross country moves, overnights and morning shifts. My little news hound was there for me, sharing my best and worst moments. Without fail, my precious boy was always there to lick my tears away and make me smile. He was my heart's medicine.

That is why when he needed me the most to be his legs, to hand-feed him and to take him on daily stroller rides, there was no question that I would be there for him.

As Murphy's caregiver in his golden years, we didn't take one day for granted. I cherished every moment with him, sharing walks on the beach, treating him like the little senior prince that he was. It was Murphy's world. I was just there to help him live his best life. But in doing so, he made life brighter and filled my world with so much joy, laughter and wonder.

My sweet little sausage dog was a survivor. More than six months ago, the vet found a tumor the size of a lemon on Murphy's liver and recommended I schedule my baby's final visit the next day. I couldn't do it. Yes, he was sick, my willful wiener dog still had spunk, tremendous will, a sparkle in his eyes and so much love to give. My dear friend, Therese, was his guardian angel, sending an express mail care package of CBD drops. It was a lifeline. Murphy suddenly stopped vomiting and had his appetite back. The drops helped alleviate much of his pain. We treated each day like it could be his last, grateful for each day. And God blessed us with more than six months of bonus days, more than six months of sunsets together.

It seems only fitting that on his last day we went on a walk to the dog park in Murphy's stroller, sat on the bench overlooking the ocean and savored the sunset. A few dogs came by to say hello. Normally Murphy is very protective, but this time he was more receptive to greeting the furry friends. In the evening he rested peacefully, looking angelic as NBA hoops played on the TV in the background. He ate some shaved ice. He loved to be hand fed. Then, all of a sudden, he stood up, vomited and likely had a heart attack. He collapsed and died in my arms.

Yes, I am numb and heartbroken, but let me tell you...God is good. All the time.
He finally called Murphy home, but I am comforted by the fact that Murphy's journey was on his own terms, and he could feel my love, my embrace until his final breath. Murphy's unconditional love was by far the most beautiful gift I could have ever received, which is why his loss is so painful.

Murphy has finally earned his angel wings and is off to serve a greater purpose in heaven. My little angel is no longer stroller bound. He is running the beaches in heaven, likely barking and disturbing the peace, but hopefully playing with his friends and cousins, Jefe, Magic, Toby, Molly, Lucky, Caesar, Bonnie and Bentley. Rest in paradise, my sweet boy. I wish you peace and eternal sunshine... until we are together again.

Song: Best Part - by H.E.R. featuring Daniel Caesar

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