Tuesday, March 3, 2020

The Murphinator at Rest

murphy's last beach day

My daughter, Li'l Diva, refuses to watch any non-animated movie with a dog as a main character. After seeing one too many of these in her lifetime, she has concluded man’s best friend “always dies in the end.”

This, of course, isn’t true. Critics and parents alike nauseated by Beethoven and the Air Buddies couldn’t kill off those canines in multiple sequels and, yes, while it’s been a few years since those series have been in production – trust me – they are just cat napping.

But in real life, all dogs do eventually die. The many joys that spunky puppy brings us on arrival eventually ends in a painful moment when a faithful, furry family member leaves forever. This is what happened to us several months ago.

Murphy, our yellow Labrador retriever who never missed an opportunity to sneak a snack or lick a face within tongue’s reach, was 13. The boy, who was always a boy no matter how gray his muzzle or how much shorter and slower our daily walks became, had been through an awful lot in those years.

Then there was the time he devoured rat poison.

You know, the usual Lab stuff.

I had a growing feeling most of last year that The Murphinator, as indestructible as a pup as he seemed to be, was really worse than he was letting on. Some arthritis in hips meant us helping him up and down the couches and chairs he loved to curl up on. His latest malady, an ulcerated bump over his eye, would clear up then return repeatedly. Little flecks of blood would appear more often than usual in his perpetually runny nose. Our vet offered tests and possible surgeries but given Murphy's age, all the guy had already been through, and -- yes, sadly -- the cost, it didn't seem in anyone's best interests, especially his. As long as Murphy kept on eating, pooping, peeing and smiling in that way only Labs do, the best choice seemed to let him be. 

The past and present finally caught up to Murph on August 12, 2019.

But before that he managed one final summer of afternoons lounging on my home office couch while I typed away on my computer and nights lounging in the left field foul territory of the local baseball field while watching my son played. He even managed to get in one last vacation sunset on the beach of North Carolina’s Outer Banks with us on his final day. That's when the photo at the top of this post was taken.

It wasn’t the worst of ways to go.


  1. we were very fond of Murphy - lovely that you got that shot of him at that moment

  2. I'm so sorry to hear of Murphy's loss.

  3. He was such a good dog! We were his everything...yet with how the passing happened with our beach family it happened in his happy place too...with other family Dobbie and Shadow! Forever loved, Murphy!

  4. I am sorry for your loss, losing a pet is no different than losing a family member. I have lost my cat a while back and i still havent gotten over it.

    I too do not watch movies with pet cats or dogs in it because i cannot bear to watch them suffer. For some reason i do not mind watching people kill each other in action movies, but if something happens to the pet then i will lose my shit.

    Your dog had a good life, he was one of the lucky ones!



REMEMBER: You're at your sexiest when you comment.


My Uncool Past