Looks like dog love is hereditary…

Image

I’d like to say this photo was a candid shot of unconditional love experienced by my 8 year old son and our 4 year old Golden.  Well….that’s half true!  Although during this snuggle fest on our bed, my son whispered to me “take my picture” so it wasn’t exactly candid!  But both my sons adore our dogs and that is such a blessing.  But what did I expect?

I was born into a family of dog lovers.  My dad always joked that he wanted to come back as the “Murphy dog” because they were all so spoiled and loved.  And the ironic thing is that my family seemed unable to express their love for each other, but never shied away from kissing and hugging our dogs and saying “I love you!” as long as the recipient of the declaration was canine.    

Last year was a hard year for my family.  After losing my mom’s rescue dog, two weeks later we lost my dad.  But the two events couldn’t be more different.  My dad had suffered for years in an assisted living facility dedicated to patients with severe dementia.  He had multiple strokes and was in a wheelchair, unable to eat solid food for a long time.  My mother visited him and sat with him for years; sometimes you felt there was some recognition, other times you knew there wasn’t.  Quite an emotional roller coaster for all of us.  My children were fearful at times walking into the home as dementia patients would come try to hold their hand and talk to them.  But they were troopers and we all learned that just being there could mean a lot to other patients who never saw friends or family.  Since my parents retired to South Florida, my mom and friends were close by, but us kids (and grandkids) didn’t get to visit as often as we’d like.  

In the end his passing was a blessing.  People always say that and you think it sounds awful, right?  But it was true.  After having to put two of my beloved dogs to sleep in the past, I know how excruciating that process is.  And I can’t tell you how many times my family talked about the fact that we treat our animals with more respect than our human family members.  

This photo is one we chose for my dad’s memorial.  

Image

We had to have a picture with his favorite child – Jessie the pug 🙂  After raising three independent girls, Jessie was truly the boy he never had!  

And as for my mom, well she’s doing remarkably well.  She’s 84 (she doesn’t use “the internet” so won’t be upset with me for mentioning her age!) and has a new baby that she’s just nuts about.  Casper, a rescue Maltese.  

Image

So the cycle continues – all of us Murphys and now Coiles are true crazy animal people.  It’s in our genes.  And I wouldn’t have it any other way 🙂  

Advertisements

Learning how to say goodbye is never easy…

It’s been a while since my last post! Quick writing update:  I’ve been editing my novel with my agent, and he is working his contacts now, hoping to find some interest out there.  Then the rejections can roll in…!  Trying to get further in my sequel (yes it’s a mystery series), and will make that my New Year’s resolution to finish in 2013.  Luckily my real job has kept me busy, along with my family, so it’s a good thing to still be employed and receiving a paycheck 🙂

It’s been a hard summer and fall, there’s no other way to say it.  I lost a dear friend to ALS which still seems unreal.  Another good friend lost her husband at the tender age of 33 recently too, and it’s so hard to accept such a shocking loss.  I’ve spent the last few years going to funerals for my parents’ friends and friends’ parents, but can’t believe now I’m having to watch my friends say goodbye to their husbands and wives.  I have been amazed at the strength they’ve shown, and the outpouring of love and support for them and their children.

I also helped my mom say goodbye to her beloved Pug Jessie, who is pictured here.  He has been such a wonderful companion to my parents, especially my mom who now lives alone since my Dad has been in a special Alzheimer’s assisted living facility.  My mom is a super active spry 83-year-old, and walking the dog each morning, afternoon and before bedtime has kept my mom young.  It’s been another wonderful example to me of how much animals give back to us, and all they want in return is a little love.  And in Jessie’s case, also a few scraps now and then 🙂  Jessie was also so loved by my dad, and it’s unclear whether he can understand or comprehend that he’s gone.  Maybe that’s a small blessing of his dementia, but I know the other residents at his facility will all miss seeing little Jessie strut around on his visits.

So I am ever thankful for all the human and canine loved ones in my life.  Even though I know someday we’ll all have to say goodbye, I will try to enjoy each and every moment until then.  And we are making the next few days extra special.  My mom has become motivated to travel again, and we are now taking a Murphy girls’ trip to Italy in a few days which will be a blast.  Compliments of my more than generous sister Kathy who is treating the 4 of us to a fabulous trip.

So if you hear there’s a shortage of wine in Rome or Florence….now you’ll know why 🙂