Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Happy Birthday, Murphy

I want to stop for a moment and honor Murphy on this, his fourth birthday.

Murphy and I met on the day he was born. His mama required a Caesarian section and the breeder was kind enough to let me know when it was time to take her to the vet for the procedure. I was in the room when 10 perfect, beautiful chocolate Labs were born. There were seven girls and three boys. I got the pick of the litter.

Fast forward six weeks. I was in a large room at the breeder’s with other people looking to pick a puppy. Murphy’s mama and daddy were both there, hanging out, greeting people, taking care of the pups. The three male puppies were separated from their sisters so I could pick mine. One of the three wandered over to me, sat and my feet and looked up at me. I picked him up, cuddled him in my lap, and he fell asleep. Murphy picked me.

I chose Murphy with the fervent hope that the sweetness and gentleness of his parents would be passed on. I wanted this Lab to be my therapy dog. It became clear when Murphy was a few months old that his temperament was just what I had hoped for. I trained him using positive reinforcement methods and a clicker. He learned quickly. He learned to love to learn.

Murphy became a registered therapy dog at a year-and-a-half. We are a Delta Society Pet Partner team. Murphy brings joy to many people, simply by being in their space. I awake to him everyday, go home to him every night. And I love him more than life.

Thank you, Murphy.

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