Lately I’ve been thinking about my Montana. He was the dog we rescued from my older brother. Sweet old black lab. He loved Nylabones, pulling us on his leash, and escaping us to go explore the woods. He drove us crazy. And we loved him. He was thirteen when old age and illness made us bring him to Rainbow Bridge. I sat there with his head on my lap crying and stroking his black fur. I am still thankful that I was able to stay for his last few moments. If I had a choice I’d have chosen to spend my last few moments like that. Surrounded by love.
That was nearly two years ago. Since then I’ve felt the ache for a new dog. We have two cats. Mine has been around since she was a kitten-she’s thirteen now. And she comes when she’s called better than some dogs I’ve seen. She loves attention, but only from us. She’s got spunk. But cats are not the same as dogs.
So this summer we finally decided it was time for us to find a new dog for the family. We were searching for a golden. When I worked in childcare we had a sweet golden retriever therapy dog that claimed our family. He was lovely. Even my middle child grew to like him and she is not a fan of dogs. Goldens are family dogs. And they’re beautiful and kind. But we didn’t want a puppy. Quite frankly, that’s selfish of us, but this house is crazy enough without a puppy to train.
So we signed up at a rescue shelter. WAAGR was wonderful to work with. Communication was great, they worked to match us with a gentle dog. Rescue dogs are harder as so many of them are rescued from neglect and abuse. It makes me so sad to see dogs that act that way. I can’t imagine how hard their life must have been.
I visited our humane society with my youngest. She adored seeing all the dogs and I found a black lab I liked. As I was sending that information to my husband he sent me a link to a mixed breed. A black lab and Norweigan Elk Hound mix that was great with cats and wonderful with children. I messaged immediately. And spent all afternoon messaging back and forth with the dog’s owners. One look at the picture on his ad and it just felt right. I loved talking to his mom. It was a separation situation and neither of them could keep the dog. After we messaged back and forth for hours she asked me when I could meet Murry. I was so thrilled. But it had to wait for a few days until I was in town for my nephew’s birthday party.
We met Murry in a Walmart parking lot. His owner pulled up with him and a bag of his things. Murry licked my hand and dutifully greeted us all. His mom handed me the leash and said goodbye to him. I could have cried for her. Murry hopped in the back of our van like he knew exactly where he was going. My husband and I made Doug jokes. We love Doug from the movie “Up” and Murry fits that personality to a T. He hopped in our van because he loves us.
He belongs here. He knows it. His first night was a bit anxious, but since then he sprawls on our bed, devours rawhide chews, chases our cats, gives us all endless kisses, and pulls me for walks. It’s blissful to see him being used as a pillow by one of our children. To see my middle child (who is afraid of dogs) toss him his bone or throw his tennis ball down the hallway. He will bark only if someone walks in our house. He’s such an amazing boy. When I look in his brown eyes I see bits of Montana in them. But Murry knows. I have no doubt he adored his previous family–they did an amazing job with him. I hope that it will help them heal knowing that he’s happy.
As I glance at Murry sprawled on the floor by my feet, he looks up at me and comes to lick my hand. He sighs as he puts his head on my knee. Yes, Murry, we love you too. To his previous owners–thank you. Thank you for choosing us.