For the love of Murry

7 Jul

I love dogs.  Always have.  I’m not a dog whisperer but I can claim to having charmed a guard dog who would nip at my husband’s heels (she would bark and nip at anyone who came in the yard, but she was worse with the Amish buggies that travelled past their farm).  I was the one who was able to get Reggie to nearly climb up on my lap while I’d scratch her soft fur. After I soothed her my husband could visit his friend while keeping his heels in tact.  In fact she would even let him pet her after that.

My husband and I started dating in high school. After he graduated and went to college he would come home nearly every weekend. When we would walk into his house their dog Dusty would walk right past him to me.  His dog of many years ditched him because she knew she’d get scooped up to my lap and could cuddle for hours.

I’ve never met a dog I was afraid of, though I am respectful to dogs and their owners and will not pet a dog without permission.

My youngest is also in love with dogs and my oldest enjoys them too.  However, my middle child, my little lady with Down Syndrome is petrified.  If she is anywhere near a dog no matter how calm they are, she will scream at the top of her lungs and climb into my arms holding me around the neck as tight as a choke hold.

She has a phobia.  But that’s ok.  Heck, I feel the same way about snakes.  I don’t care if it’s a pet.  You’re not getting me near it.

What others don’t understand is why she is this way because we have a dog, our Murry.  Murry came into our lives a few years back when we were ready for a new dog.  We were on the list at a Golden Retriever rescue site to adopt a rescue that was suited for us.  Just as we received a call for a puppy my husband found Murry on Craigslist.  After a lovely and lengthy interview process he became ours.  Why so much trouble?  Because I knew as his new owner how he’d been loved and his previous owner knows how he will be loved.  Adoption at its finest.

And she screamed at first.  And for awhile after that when he was in site.   But Murry is a mix of Black Labrador and Norwegian Elkhound (according to his birth info).  He is gentle.  He is passive, bordering lazy.  Murry loves nothing more than to be with his people.  He’s happiest sprawled at our feet and will groan in pleasure if we scratch him while he is there.

Needless to say-he does nothing scary.  Unless you count the laps he races in our yard as he “hers” our kids. I find it more helpful than hinder.  I don’t have to keep my eyes on them quite as much.  He’s also jumpy.  But only if I ask him for a hug.  

And my little lady no longer cares if he is in the house or yard.  In fact, considering I know her fears are quite real I’m always amazed when I see her curiosity over him.  She seems to find his white belly stripe interesting and practically puts her head on his lap watching him.

However he knows. He knows she doesn’t want to hurt him or pet him and doesn’t even move when she is near him.  If anyone else was down by him he would give stinky dog breath kisses.  Or thump his curly tail.

There is no doubt in my mind he knows.  And Murry is not unique.  That’s why there are service dogs.  Dogs can sense things many humans cannot.  Even if you adore dogs like I do, please don’t approach or pet a service dog that is working.  They need their focus on their person.  And they, I’m positive, are rewarded for what they do. 

I’m grateful for Murry.  He may not be a therapy dog, he has his own quirks (he eats out of the garbage, he has severe separation anxiety and destroys anything in his kennel when he’s alone, and he drinks water too fast so he gags in summer).  But he is always there with a happy tail and a hug whenever we need.  And he’s been magic in our life.

The Ruff Life of Murry


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