Today No 1 son, Murphy had to be put to sleep. He was 13 years old and had been fighting liver cancer for 2 years. Over the last few weeks he has been deteriorating steadily and last night my parents and I made the hard decision not to let him suffer any more. He wasn't in pain but his liver was now so large it was pressing on this lungs, making his breathing more laboured, and pressing on his stomach, putting him off his food.
Now if there was one thing that Murphy loved it was food and he was notorious for pinching. We discovered his love of carrots when we noticed him pinching them from the veg basket and running into the garden to eat them at an early age. He's eaten; the sandwiches I was making for work when I went to answer the door, a box of milk tray (including the box and most of the wrappings), a pound of frozen beef (which he promptly threw up), cat food and biscuits galore and pretty much anything else he could get his chops on!
So for Murphy to be off his food was not a good sign.
Murphy was not the easiest dog to own. In fact, when he chose me on the 21st August 1995 at Manchester Dogs Home, he'd been returned that day by his previous owners for 'bad behaviour'. That should have been a warning.
Being a Lab/Collie cross he had all the traits of both. His love of food from his Lab side and his intelligence and stubbornness from his Collie side. He was also terrified of fireworks and for 12 years we learnt to dread November and had to cope with destruction and subsequent great expense over the years including, several new carpets, a new computer and numerous bits of other furniture. Thank fully in later life he went deaf and what a relief to all that was.
Despite all his 'issues' he was a fantastic dog. Loved other dogs, put up with constant mythering from cats with just the occasional warning growl, loved water and the beach, frisbees and toys.
We shall all miss him very much.
We are having him cremated and our plan is to scatter his ashes on the beach at Blackpool on New Years Day. This may seem strange but it has been a family tradition for many years to take the dogs to the beach for a run on New Years Day, exercise for them and to blow the cobwebs away for us.
Murphy (Holmes/Wan) 1st April 1995 - 17th December 2008
Much loved No 1 Son