TRIPAWDS: Home to 21080 Members and 2061 Blogs.
All sites currently ad-free!
header image

1 Year, 12 months of Sadness, 365 Memories (well, really more!), and a Lifetime of Love

It’s been a year since Murphy left us.  12 months of sadness, tears, anger at that stupid “C” word.  How unfair that he beat one cancer for so long just to be taken by a different one!  At the time that we lost him, Cassie was getting worse with her walking, so taking care of her took up our minds and it sort of helped in a way.  I think that one of the hardest things when you lose a pet that has special needs, is that your day revolves around them – their care, their meds, their feeding, so when you lose them, you feel it more than you do with a pet that didn’t have special needs.  So the fact that Cassie suddenly was needing care – vet visits, rehab, medications, therapy, help with walking … meant that our minds were still busy.  It didn’t mean that we didn’t miss Murphy, it meant that we shifted.

In September we adopted Cooper.  We knew that Max would eventually be alone, so we wanted a companion for him.

In October we got a ramp for Cassie to help her with the 1 step off the deck.  We also used it to get her into & out of the car.  By Christmas she was not walking at all.  By the end of January, she was gone.  Two loves gone in 7 months, and then it all really hit, and it hit hard.

We no longer had anyone who needed full-time care, no one to schedule around, to worry about, so all of the grief just crashed down on us times 2.  One night I somehow found  a book called “The Amazing Afterlife of Animals” by Karen A. Anderson.  I practically read it in one sitting!  She spoke to my soul, she reached right through that book and held me and I found a bit of peace.

But today is Murphy’s day, and coincidentally it’s World Pet Memorial day.

Murphy was a scrawny little thing when we adopted him.  We were told that he was an “Irish Setter/Spaniel” mix by the rescue group and we decided to name him Murphy in honor of my mom!  That was her maiden name, and as an only child the name was never passed on by her.  Since he was part Irish, we thought it was appropriate 🙂  He was stubborn right from the start – if he didn’t want to do something, he would lay down & roll over.  One time I did battle with him because he started digging next to the central air unit – I think we fought for about a half hour!  I had no intention of hitting him, I just wanted to show him & tell him “NO,” but he alligator-rolled, & twisted out of his collar, dug into the ground, ran away from me…ugh!   Murphy & Cassie were always the best of friends, right from the very minute that they met.  She taught him how to crawl under the bed to sleep.  He loved to be outside, and he didn’t care what the weather was like!  If it was raining, he would lay underneath our large blue spruce trees.  Other times he’d lay in the sunshine on the deck.  Whenever we got the hose out to water the flowers, Murphy went to the furthest corner of the yard!  Cassie would come over to bite the spray or steal the sprinkler, but Murphy ran away from it.  He also ran away from the brush – he would start barking at me any time I got it out, and Cassie would walk over in between us and push her head under my hand.  Murphy loved to stick his head out of the car window, and he was a great passenger in the car.  He loved belly rubs from anybody who was willing to give them, including toddlers.  When we moved into our house, Murphy & Cassie were very quick to create a path in the grass around the pool.  No matter where they were in the yard, they had to go back to the path first before coming up to the deck to come in.  Murphy loved to chase the squirrels and he’d often corner them on the pool deck railing, forcing them to jump to the trees.  Murphy liked other dogs and liked meeting new friends.  Murphy loved when we were wrapping presents – he knew that eventually we would have an empty tube & they make great toys!  He really was a happy dog.  The day I took him out to Michigan State the fellow really gave his leg such a work-out and Murphy just let him, not one sound of complaint, even with a tumor there.  After his amputation he participated in 2 Bark for Life walks and raised money for the American Cancer Society, plus we traveled to Chicago for PuppyUp’s walk and raised money and awareness for canine cancer.  He was a true ambassador for canine cancer and Tripawds 🙂 Whenever I took him someplace he got attention, but if people felt bad for him I quickly assured them that they shouldn’t – that he was happy, healthy and pain-free because of his surgery.

I miss Murphy’s smile, his hugs (yes, he hugged!), and even his barking (I never thought I’d say that!  lol).  I miss him rolling over for a belly-rub, his moany-groany sounds that he made when he was happy, his hop-hop-hop down the hallway.  I miss watching him run the fence when there was another dog in the park – oh, he could run!  I miss the way he sat on his butt so that his back feet stuck up a little  bit so we could dry them off when they were wet.  I miss his sweet kisses – he gave sweet little kisses, but you had to be careful because sometimes he tried to slip that tongue in!  lol  I miss the little white tip of his tail, and the black outline of his ears.  I miss him looking around the corner of the wall from the hallway when I’m in the kitchen.  I think about both of them all the time 🙁

I’m so very grateful for this site and for the people here.  Some days are just too hard to be here for long, but I do still try.  I’ve made life-long friends here, friends who have travelled the same path I have and can understand what we’ve been through like no others.  Meeting in person, first in Chicago, then in Virginia was incredible!  I don’t know what I’d do without you.





















most of my Tripawds family 2018

my “twin” Paula aka dobemom

A brief rainbow we saw in the Outer Banks

thank you Rene <3

Thank you for letting me share (or over-share!) our Murphy tonight.

I love you Smurphs!

Donna & Glenn





~ by midnighter94 on June 13, 2018 . Tagged:

7 Responses to “1 Year, 12 months of Sadness, 365 Memories (well, really more!), and a Lifetime of Love”

  1.   Michelle Says:

    Donna & Glenn,
    Another first. You said everything in this. I know how difficult it has been with you losing Murphy then Cassie. Thank you for sharing what it was like and that the care giver part just shifted and then the grief 2x as hard after losing sweet Cassie too.

    They both are with you and I love the memorial that Rene did for you. It brought tears to my eyes when you shared the picture of it with us in Va.

    I am glad we got to meet up in Chicago then our 2 trips to VA. You are family for sure.

    Loved all the sweet pictures of Murphy and Cassie. You are dearly missed Murphy.

    Michelle & Angel Sassy

  2.   mysweetted Says:

    🙂 Donna, you are so sweet and it’s no wonder that Murphy and ALL of the creatures surrounding you are so sweet just like you. I can’t begin to imagine how much you miss Murphy and Cassie. Hugs to you and Glenn and the rest of your family.

  3.   benny55 Says:

    Our lovely Donna, every single word you have written either has me in tears, or has me saying to myself, “Yes, exactly. You nailed it”, or has me laughing, or has my heart full of warm fuzzies. Each word also has me full of so much love and respect for you (and Glenn too) because of the EXQUISITE care, love, dedication and devotion you surrounded Murphy and Cassie with.💖

    Your broken heart never even had time to start to clue itself together before Cassie joined Murphy. You were spot on about the void created in our lives when our caregiver roles are stripped from us. Our days have no routines, no purpose.Yes, caring for Cassie helped in a small way to mask the depth ofmyour gried…vut only on a temporary basis.

    You articulated that experience ao well, so vividly.

    Ya’ know, we got to know Murphy so well as a BEACON OF HOPE, as a WARRIOR, as a ROCK STAR, as the Poster Boy for what’s possible. We got to know him as a Champion for all tripawds, a Goodwill Ambassador for Joy and Happiness, a dog with a Legacy of Hope!

    And today, with this beautiful heartfelt tribute, we got to know the heart and Soul of Murphy beyond a tripawd hero, beyond an inspiration, beyond the Legacy😎 You pai homage by sharingnevery little adoravle quirk that made Murphy ge Murphy. And I loooove every single morsel of his delightful personality you shared with us.

    NIce shout out to your Mom by naming him after her! Best honor evvvver bestowed upon a human!😎

    TThe pictures are priceless. Yes, he certainly loved his tummy rubs! Inlove the photo of him sitting in the snow with his fur coated with snow. He truly was “one with the snow”!😄

    He and Cassie all tangled up in the leads around the tree. They look so darn cute! Murphy loving the wind as he sticks his head out the car window….these are the memories that matter. The visual of Cassie and Murphy always following their path around the pool gave me a chuckle.
    Yep, these are the memories that glue the heart back together, the day to day joys Murphy found in just being Murphy and being with you and his pack.

    Thank you so much for sharing your insight and for sharing so muchnof who Murphy is, beyond a Rock Star Tripawd!!😁

    Yes, the friendships we all share are truly a divine gift from our Angels.

    Thank you for your friendship and for all your contributions to allmof us.

    With love to you and Glenn,
    Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too

  4.   dobemom Says:

    Such a beautiful tribute to a beautiful soul, and amazing Warrior! I like that you focus on his early years, pre-C…..sometimes I feel like I only think of Nitro as he was the last 3 years of his life – and he was so much more. I hate that seem to define him (in my mind) only as a Tripawd. If Murphy were one of the 7 dwarfs, he surely would be “Happy”! I don’t think I ever saw a pic of him where he wasn’t smiling. I’m so glad I got the chance to meet him in Chicago (and of course you and Glenn too). One of my biggest regrets was that I couldn’t bring Nitro to that walk so you all could’ve met him.

    You totally hit the nail on the head how it feels to suddenly not be a care-giver anymore. It feels like losing a part of your identity, on top of losing your best friend. I also think of Nitro every single day, even more so as our time for the 1st angelversary looms near.

    It sounds funny to say out loud, but I thank God for the journey he led us on, the dreaded cancer journey, because it brought us all together…forever friends, forever family! Wishing you peace at this heart-heavy time…love you, my friend!

    Paula and Warrior Angel Nitro

  5.   megstamum Says:

    Such a sweet post, Donna. I feel your grief, and I know how hard these anniversaries are, but I also feel your love so strongly and your pride too in having such a wonderful dog in your life. Thank you for sharing him with us. The pics are just so lovely too.
    We are thinking of you and sending love,
    Meg, Clare and Angel Pie

  6.   jerry Says:

    You so beautifully describe all the little nuances and personality traits that made him so very special to you, and everyone who met Murphy. It’s so important to jot our memories down before too much time passes, and you’ve done a lovely job on a very fitting day to do it.

    I have no doubt that in 10 years you’ll look back on this and become instantly transported back to all those belly rubs and kisses with Murphy. He wa a special doggie indeed.

    Thank you for the honor of creating a memorial for him and Cassie. They are forever part of our hearts too.


  7.   mom2shelby Says:

    WOW… I think I learned more about Murphy in this post than I ever knew! Thank you for sharing more about him, how he came to his name and his life pre-cancer. I think sometimes we all forget there is life before the big C.

    I can only imagine (still) how hard it was to go through grief twice in such a short amount of time. My heart broke for you and Glen when you were going through the loss of Cassie. It just seemed too unfair for words.

    I, too, am glad this journey brought us together … as sad as it was to go through it, I never felt alone during our battle with your support. I am furever grateful for that.

    I loved seeing all these photos and memories. What a wonderful gift to have a glimpse of your life together. Through it all.

    Murphy and Cassie will never be forgotten … true heroes and warriors till the end!

    Lots of LOVE!
    Alison with Spirit Shelby in her heart (and little Jasper too)

Leave a Reply