Monday, April 11, 2011

Mostly Murphy

This will be my most difficult & perhaps controversial blog but it's a topic that needs to be discussed, debated, cried over, cursed about and maybe even one that we all need an ass-kicking for.

Murphy should be dead by now.

I've come close to euthanizing him twice. But each time he's rebounded and I thought better of it.

True, he's dying. No doubt about that. The tumor has overtaken his left eye and he's tired from the 10 month battle.

But how do we establish a criteria for quality of life?

I've finally realized that it's - is Murphy mostly Murphy?


Running With Charlene said...

Luke, one month ago we were faced with that decision. Having several dogs in my lifetime die from cancer, I knew the end signs.

One thing I know - Murphy will let you know when it is time. A month ago (exactly to this day) we lost our Ladybug (Jack Russell) and as you said on Dogs 101, our universe was turned upside down. However, days leading up to it - she was not ready to go. Finally, I remember the moment she told me she wanted to go. I assured her, that we would miss her, but we would be just fine without her. At that time, I saw her willing to go. 5 days later, she entered the Rainbow Bridge.

Murphy trusts you to take care of him and honor his wishes. You are and always will. You and Murphy make this decision, to anyone else who thinks you are making him suffer - let them think what they want.

Many prayers to you during this difficult time.

Anonymous said...

One cannot measure quality of life. It is only that individual who knows what their quality is.
If Murphy was suppose to be dead by now he would be. But he is not. For whatever reason he is not ready.
My only concern is his comfort. Is he on pain mess?
Like with humans we wait for their suffering to end when it is time.
Do not think of yourself as selfish or cruel for not helping Murphy pass over. He will choose when to leave, and if need be he will ask for your help and you will know when he does.

Anonymous said...

My dear Luke, I agree our babies decide ultimately when it is their time to go. I truly believe they tell us by their actions. My Angel boy Chief stopped eating one week after cancer had taken over his body and started pulling away from me by going to other rooms to sleep, which he never ever did before. Then one night shorty after this, when it was quiet, he ran to me and died in my arms. Murphy will let you know when he is ready. He is still enjoying food, your company and is not ready yet. Hugs my dear and prayers sent to you both!
Julie and Angels Sammy and Chief

Anonymous said...

I feel you & Murphy will answer the question together. You have my admiration as I know how difficult it is.
We had 6 days with our Prince (GSD x Golden) after his bone cancer diagnosis so I know how you're treasuring this extra time with Murphy.
I encourage you to write down every thing you do with the boys & take lots & lots of photos.
Give all the gang an extra belly rub from me.
All of you remain in my thoughts & prayers.
HUGS to all of you.

hiStories of Life said...

I truly believe everyone let's go in their own time...when they are ready, the angels will come. xoxo

Solitude.Peace said...

You must know that any comments you receive here or on Facebook or just that, they are comments. I try to have the right thing to say and for some reason I just don't think that I do. I wish for you that you weren't alone in this decision. When I say it pains me to hear this, it truly does. Just as you wish you weren't in the position to write it, I feel the same about commenting on it. I know that there is not a better Papi for your son Murphy. I know that there is no greater love than what you have and still give him unconditionally. I know that you have sought out the very best vets, techs, food and medicine. I know that you will suffer way more than Murphy ever will. Humans always suffer more. Dogs live a life of never knowing sorrow like we do. I know the cancer has got to cause some pain, how could it not, but I am sure that we experience the pain in a way they never will. If he is tired from his 10 month battle, then he is tired. When he is done, then he is done. May you find comfort, somehow, someway...

Anonymous said...

I know we're to be the stewards of the earth and the amazing animals placed here. But do humans have the proven ability or the wisdom to establish a criteria for quality of life?

Animals are closer to the earth and it's cycles - including pain and death- and more accepting.

You and Murphy have a strong bond - he'll let you know- and it'll be one of those things you just do because it's right and its time.

Amanda Baur said...

I think that this is a very good way to look at it, Luke. I knew when I had to put my Oz Man down ... he just wasn't himself anymore. There wasn't any part of him left. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Amanda and (the other) Murphy

Malibu1969 said...

Have been following your posts and wish the best for Murphy and for you and your family. The love of a Dog is a wonderful, unconditional love. I have 2 dogs, an Aussy Shepherd and a Snoodle..My husband passed away last August of Acute Myloid Leukiema. We miss him very much. I have been following your cursade and think you are doing a wonderful thing to fight againt this dreaded disease, whether it be for humans or dogs.
My prayers go out to you Luke, for strenght to carry on with your quest.
Marilyn Cox

sue of theDogWorks/cats2 said...

Boy do I have a few end of dog life stories for you! My pups mostly have given me humor in death as well as life (laughing through the tears, anyway)... doG bless them. Two words. Rescue Remedy. For both man and "beast". Sail on in style, sweet Murph.

Malibu1969 said...

Post for Murphy

Anonymous said...

Hang in there. Our dog Bear is around longer than he should of been. Bad news from the OSU vets today. Trying a new chemo. Bear is just amazing! You should see him run around the dog park on three legs. He is and will always be my hero! Angella from Ohio

Refinersfire said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Refinersfire said...

Luke,your blog really made my heart and my mind hurt. As much as we as humans try; we don't chose when something or someone we love lives or dies. And many would try to debate it,but Jesus does hold the keys to death,for us as humans and our furry family members.I know that it isn't the same,but my little sister,Jamie,died on November 9,2008. She couldn't see,walk,talk,she had a feeding tube and a trach. She could do nothing for herself. Yet the Lord chose to leave her here for 32 years,to teach us, to humble us, to show us who He is. She ministered to us day by day from her bed without uttering a word. We did everything humanly possible for her. Taking each day one day at a time. The day she died took us completely off guard. We weren't prepared at all. All our defenses were down and now over 2 years later my family and I are still trying to live our lives without her. You are never prepared for death no matter how hard you try. They say death is the easy part,it's how we get there that is difficult. Murphy has fought the good fight of faith. The Lord will call him home when He is really. You'll know in your heart if you have to help ease the transition. And the Lord will give you peace either way. You,Murphy and your entire furry family and beyond are in our prayers.
Praying for you,
Angel V. Cole

Judy said...

I was put in the same situation years ago. What I have taken from that situation is; 'He will let you know when its time for you to step in and help him cross over'. Until than just love him and make him comfortable when the end is near. I know its hard trying to do the right thing in everyones eyes. You only have to answer to Murphy and yourself. We all will respect your choice. My prayers are with you and Murphy. I say just love him, he will let you know when its time.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry you are going through this. My thoughts are with you.

Anonymous said...

A few months ago we faced the same problem with our basset Bubba. He was a rescue- our first foster failure- and after 3 short yrs he was diagnosed with lymphoma. We removed his spleen and opted not to do chemo. For six months he lived on prednazone and was his joyish self. We debated for a long time when his moment would be and then one night it came. One minute he was fine, five minutes later he literally couldn't move a single muscle in his body. His central nervous sysyem shut down and we knew from the look in his eyes thay it was time. Thay look haunts me everyday of my life. Bubba stayed with us until he was able to say goodbye and let us let him go to the bridge. Murphy will do the same. Don't second guess your decision to hold on a little longer. Squeeze him as tight as you can and breathe in his doggy breath. He will let you know when he's ready. Cherish every second until he does.


Kolchak Puggle said...

So much wisdom has been shared. Luke, Murphy is lucky not only to have a Papi who will fight for him, but to have a Papi who questions when it is time to put the fight to rest. Murphy knows, better than anyone, that you would do anything for him and I know that when and of the time comes, you will know how to do what Murphy needs. Let him be your guide.

hugosmomma said...


When faced with a similar decision about my beloved Hugo, I was given this advice but a vet.

Find a quiet spot and sit with your dog. Put one arm around your dog, and the other hand on your heart and ASK... "Do you still want to fight?" then ask "or is it time?" You dog will let you will be heart breaking but you will know when the time comes - only YOU and Murphy will know..

Until then, just love him and enjoy every day that you are blessed to have with him.

Jim, Rene, Wyatt and Spirit Jerry said...

"how do we establish a criteria for quality of life?"
It's the hardest question we'll ever ask ourselves. And we get it a lot in our Coping With Loss discussion forum. One topic in particular discusses a quality of life scale.

While we cannot measure the value of life, it is all about quality, not quantity. For me, it just came down to asking myself how I wanted to remember Jerry.

God Bless, Big Dog. we're thinking of you.

Anonymous said...

The greatest gift we give our animals is the gift of peace and the end of pain. While we suffer for the giving of the gift, Murphy will be at peace and will be with you always in your heart. <3

Maxine Cook said...

Hi Luke. I haven't kept up with your news over the past winter, so I was saddened to see here that Murphy is ailing so... We think of you three guys often and pray for you all. Murphy has certainly made his contribution to the cause of fighting back at canine cancer, surely in the most personal and painful of ways. I know how hard this is on you but you're the Daddy and you have walked this way before. You know what to do. Give Murph a big hug and kiss from us here at Jolico Farm. He is immortalized on our website and blog, as well as all the many places he has been in his well-traveled life, but most especially in the hearts of those who know and love him.

Best wishes and thoughts always,
Art, Maxine and Moses Cook
Somerset PA