CHAPTER 4 : Murphy
It’s been almost two years since I lost Murphy and there’s still a rankled rawness in writing about him and within my original draft of Book One, this chapter wasn’t initially included.
But as excoriating as it still is, Murphy was so much a part of Malcolm’s story early on and mine, their influence upon one another is significant and I realize now it’s impossible to disinclude it.
Murphy was all of a month or two old when Stevie, my girlfriend at the time, brought him home as a surprise for me. I’d met Stevie years previously and was turned on to her in a lightening second for a couple of reasons. First of all, she was named after the lead singer of Fleetwood Mac due to her tall stature and flowing hair.
Stevie was also a die hard vegan and animal rights advocate, her big heart always standing up for those who couldn’t speak for themselves was what also drew me to her. Still, when I came home to find that she had rescued a Pyrenees pup, a potential brother to Malcolm, I was none too pleased.
Even though Murphy was a cute lil feller as all pups are, I could tell he was a powder keg set to go off at anytime. But the flaws weren’t his fault. Stevie had pretty much down and outright stolen him from a groomer at the vet clinic she worked. The groomer left him outside day and night, through sweltering heat and treacherous electric storms and by the time he was brought into the clinic, Murphy was listless and pretty much lifeless.
But within a day of being brought home to our townhouse, he perked up enough to begin a reign of holy terror. He wasn’t house broken but he was so willful even at that age that he actually tried to break the house instead.
First of all, Murphy didn’t have ‘accidents’. Nope, as I came to learn, his incontinence was intentional. He didn’t shyly or sheepishly urinate in a corner, he ran around the entire living room with a steady stream of pee like he was making performance art or something.
And he couldn’t be left unattended for too long in our townhouse. We kept him barricaded in the kitchen to try and limit and confine the damage he wrought but even still he found a way. For the first few days, Murphy would just knock down the pet doors and pee and poop all over the house. But when I reinforced them to the point at which escape became impossible, it was like we left the Tasmanian devil in the kitchen.
He’d chew on cabinet knobs and when we removed those, Murphy actually gnawed on the kitchen walls stripping it of wallpaper leaving teeth marks in the sheetrock. It was like the Pyrenees version of Hannibal Lector and Linda Blair from the Exorcist had just moved in with us and I wasn’t about to call a priest. I wanted him out of our townhome and out of our lives.
I felt bad for the lad for his lot in life and that he had a shitty, neglectful parent. But that he was an unruly, untrained, misbehaving child, the real reason I didn’t want Murphy was because of Malcolm.
My attention had become diverted from Malcolm and even though he never displayed the slightest sense of jealousy or what I would later learn as ‘resource guarding’ over Murphy, I still felt guilty that he wasn’t the one and only anymore.
It was a long, hard road for me to learn to love Malcolm and I wasn’t about to share that. And I wasn’t about to take that journey with another dog.
Author’s Note on Author’s Notes: I’m no longer calling them this anymore because it makes me sound like a pretentious boob. Henceforth, they’ll be Yer Big Dog’s Notes.
YBD’s Notes 1: I have a big opportunity so I'm going to have to move my posting from Friday to I'm not quite sure yet til I work out the specifics. But rest assured, I'll keep sharing the story with you every week.