Old Murph

Our son Michael was 3 when we adopted “Murphy’s Law”. We call him “Old” Murphy because we’ve since named the new Dog, Murphy as well. His original name was originally “Princeton” but that lasted all but two hours because we’re Naturalized Cuban immigrants and all our relatives that still had accents were mispronouncing his name as ”Clinton” and mans best friend at that time, 1994, was in no way related to Slick Willy!

Old Murph was a nipper terrier, for the uninitiated, a nipper was the original RCA dog, a mutt. We knew Old Murph was the one immediately when we first saw him. We went to a dog breeder in Princeton and we saw about 15 corralled pups all nippers bouncing around, hyper as hell, like Mexican jumping beans. I yelled out the word “sit” and the only one that sat attentively in a sea of uncontrollable terriers was Old Murph. He was calm, cool and collective and without even looking him over twice we all said together “that’s the one”!

Murphy quickly became my son’s best friend and he was more remarkable then we could ever imagine. We never walk him on a leash so became accustomed to following us around everywhere. The kids rode their bike around the block and I felt safe because Old Murph would keep up with them. He never let anyone near them or even raised their voice to them. He became their protector and friend. He was also incredibly independent and we felt comfortable letting him walk out the front door. He never left home or got lost. My in-laws lived around the block and he used to visit them on his own and he’d walk in the back yard and he’d bark at the kitchen window so they’d let him in for a visit to drink coffee and milk and some times toast. When he was done he’d always make it back to the house and wait on the front porch until our car pulled into the driveway or someone let him in the house. He was so smart that the stupid dog tricks were boring compared to all the other things he was able to do.

We’ll never have another dog like Old Murph. He was one of a kind! A Loyal, protective, loving and a real member of the family. He lived 10 years. I can go on about this old friend but that would require a lot more website space and room for pictures but he got very sick the last two years of his life. He had grown week and developed Cancer of the liver. We had him operated a few times but the ulcers kept coming out and he was suffering.

In the end it was the hardest decision my wife and I ever had to make. Everyone knew he was sick. We never told anyone, especially the kids that we had to put him to sleep because they may not have forgiven us. Michael was 13 at the time and Jacky was 17. The news of his death was hard enough and I knew that I would come clean with them at a much later date in the future which has not arrived yet.

Putting Old Murph down was harder than I thought it would be. He was on table looking up at me with his big brown eyes and I just lost it completely. The doctor let me have some time alone to say goodbye. I just hugged him and kissed him and cried. I held his head with the little life that was left. We look into each others eyes and then he was gone. No heart beat and just a frozen stare.

I had him cremated and when I brought him home, we just hugged and kissed that little box with his ashes. Three years later we still cherish that Old Mutt. He taught us how to really love animals. We now have 3 Irish Jack Russell Terriers The mother, The Father and we kept one from the litter before we gave the remaining four to family and friends. The pup is the spitting image of Old Murph and they are the most loved and best cared animals anyone has ever seen. Thanks for writing your book Mark! It’s going to help a lot of people cope. I want to do want you did and burry Old Murph’s ashes under a tree on the front lawn but I don’t know how long I can stand living in New Jersey and Old Murph is coming with us.

Rafael from NJ

One Response

  1. Paul Resko Says:

    Very nice story Rafael! I know what you have been thru, and I must agree with you. I dont know how much longer I can live in Jersey. And Im taking my puppy dog Rock with me.And of course my Zachariah Rock, He is still with us. Its a shame I love this state but need I say why we might have to leave.
    Best wishes
    Paul from NJ