Murray 2002 - 2018
August 7, 2018
When you get a dog, either through adoption or from a breeder, they never talk to you about end of life. It's all about puppy management or transitioning them into your home. Everything is light and happy and amazing. The idea that this little fuzzy being is going to break your heart into pieces you never knew you had is so far from your mind. And, I suppose, that's how it should be.
Murray joined our pack in 2009, already a senior boy. He was full of humor, confidence and a stubborn sensibility I will never forget. He was the life of the party, loved the ladies and never met a treat he didn’t like. Murray helped Annie overcome her separation anxiety and made us laugh everyday. He kept me company as I transitioned from staff photographer to a full-time, independent one. We took breaks together, held mid-day dance parties and he modeled for all my lighting tests. He also farted more than any dog I've ever known.
We had been nearing the end for a while. We worked through incontinence, eating issues and arthritis. We treated him to warm laser sessions, carried him up and down stairs, got up with him multiple times every night, altered his food constantly and lined our floors with yoga mats for traction. Ultimately, it came down to his quality of life.
I can't tell you how many hours I spent snuggling him and asking him to give me a sign. It wasn't a fair thing to ask but I was really struggling with the decision. In my heart I knew it was time but wrapping my mind around it was another story. While the loss of a loved one is terrible in every way, I think there's a difference between losing a pet and losing a family member. With a pet, you are responsible for making that loss happen.
We didn't want Murray to suffer unnecessarily or for his death to be a painful emergency. So that meant we couldn't wait until the day he couldn't get up or accidentally fell down the stairs to make the decision. In a way, it was the last gift we could give him, but wow…it was hard to let go.
On July 18th, we said goodbye.
Our vet was amazing and kind but it was still awful. He passed quietly and quickly. I wish I had something insightful or helpful to say but I don't. Whenever I think about it, I feel ill. Maybe that will subside but until then, I'm just going to get up each morning, care for my remaining pups, do my work and smile at the memory of his bright, funny, friendly face. From the day he came into our lives to the day he left, every moment with him was a gift.
In his honor, 50% of the proceeds from my upcoming Mini-Studio Session events will go to help the Boston Terrier Rescue fo East Tennessee save more goofy little souls like Murray. The other 50% will go to City Dogs Rescue who do amazing work in Washington, DC. When in doubt, give back.
Run free my sweet, silly boy. Thank you for being my dear friend. I'll love you forever and remember you always. 💔