There is a Murphdog sized hole in our house and our hearts. Meg (Murphdog) was with us for more than 15 years, joining us as a frightened puppy and growing into a gentle, loving, loyal companion to the whole family. She played with the children, protected them from snakes and strangers, and kept us all company. In the time we had her she had other companions – for a year or so, sausage do Pooch, who was killed by a snake, for a few months Eddie, an exuberant kelpie cross who we looked after till he found a home, and for the last couple of years Jonah (Murphpup), a maltese-shitzu who she grew to tolerate, maybe even love.
Not everyone loved Meg. With Jack Russel in her, she loved to bark at snakes, lizards, and people walking by. This is not always fun for neighbours. She also had an aversion to men with boots and/or ladders – we suspect a particular workman had kicked her when she was young – and so would snarl ferociously at visiting men.
But we loved Meg, and everyone who got to know her seemed to, too. She was gentle with the puppies she had, loving to her people and, in her later years, really didn’t cope with being apart from us (which is how Murphpup came to be added to the mix). She was a family member, and a big part of our lives.
Her death wasn’t sudden, and was seemingly peaceful, and that’s a blessing. We are also blessed with many memories and, of course,her friend Murphpup, who is adjusting to life as an only dog.
Quite by chance, this week we have had a second dog in the house, keeping Murphpup company. My daughter is off on a walking holiday, and has entrusted us with her little pooch for the week. Did I say little? Hmm. Murphhound (his name is Sos) is a rescued greyhound, and the biggest greyhound I have ever seen.
I had always thought greyhounds were a beautiful looking dog, but I really didn’t realise how very placid they are. Sos doesn’t bark, or yap or whine, and is happy to lie on his bed – or outside in the sun – for much of the day. But when we go out, he greets us on our return with an enthusiastic trot to the door or gate, and a very exuberant wag of his very large tail.
The Murphlets have been walking the two dogs each day – the tiny white dog and the huge black dog – and I’m guessing have provided a bit of amusement to onlookers. Apart from this, I can’t say that they’re best friends, but they seem to tolerate each other. Murphpup has no fear of the hound – but Murphhound does look a bit nervous when the little yappy one is being vocal.
In a few days Murphhound will be gone and Murphpup will once again need to adapt to life as an only dog., and Meg’s absence will probably become more noticeable as we adapt to the new normal. Still, I’m counting my blessings. Aren’t I lucky to have had her in my life for fifteen years – and to have other dogs in my life still?