Murray’s & Jake’s Tale

Murray was not a shelter dog, but he was rescued. We were directed to him, by a Sheltie rescue organization in California. At the time we lived in New Jersey. The caller asked us if we knew were Bridgewater NJ was. It so happened it was right up the road. We found Murray tied to a tree. He was the leftover of a marriage gone south. The women said “just take him” he’s good for nothing. She had two kids; I always wondered what she did with them. For the 1st year Murray was a handful, he was a runner. If you left a door ajar, he was gone. A few times he got out and we needed to scour the neighborhood for him. One day it dawned on him and he finally realized he had a forever home. He was great, we loved him. Memorial Day weekend 1999. I discovered his lymph nodes were enlarged. Took him to the Oncology Vet and was told he had Lymphoma, stage 3. She explained our options but was not overly hopeful. Murray was put on Chemo. He accepted it like a champ and the Chemo worked. His cancer went into remission. There is no cure for Lymphoma, your just buying time, in an unknown quantity. During this time marching band season started. We worked with one high school marching band, with their music and marching. We discovered Murray had found his calling on earth. Murray insisted on going to the practices. Without any direction from us he started working with the kids, keeping them in their lines. He lived for these rehearsals. He was so energetic and alive. This went on 3 months. Literally right after the season ended, his cancer returned. We knew chemo was not an option. We could only make him comfortable. Enter “Jake” another rescued Sheltie; actually Murray had picked him out of a shelter we visited one day. I firmly believe each dog has a calling on earth.
Jake’s is caregiver. When Murray was having a bad day I’d find Jake “spooned” around his brother, trying to comfort and take away his pain. One cold January morning I came down stairs, Murray was not about. I checked his bed. Our eyes met and he said it’s time. We took him to our vet. Holding him our arms the serum was administered and we let him pass over the rainbow bridge to be with the ones who have gone before him. Our vet allowed us to take Murray home. We took him home, laid him out on our living room floor. Why you wonder. Well we had/have other shelties. Dogs are pack animals, they know when one is missing and need closure, just as we do. The others we had at the time circled around Murray, sniffed and sat there. After awhile they left. They needed to say goodbye as well.
Another thing to keep in mind for each dog that enters your life which you share and then passes. They have a big influence on the next one you’re directed too. Just because your beloved has passed doesn’t mean you stop. At the right time another will enter your life filling it with more joy. Be open to your heart and the memories of your “best” friend.

Mik in Las Vegas