Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Little Man

Anyone who has visited this blog more than once or twice knows that dogs are, and have been, a very important part of my life. I have been enormously privileged to have lived with some really fine dogs. By fine I do not breeding, pedigrees, and the like. I mean character, intelligence, and spirit.

In the last couple of decades I have been unusually lucky to know six such very special friends. Casting no aspersions on my present house-mates, the finest of them all was Murphy, who died in 2007, prematurely from a particularly vicious form of cancer.

The other day I was going through some boxes of stuff and found this little portrait I did of him right after he came to live with me in 1999. He's eight or nine weeks here and I believe I can already see the keen intelligence and sensitivity that would characterize his life. He was by far the smartest, most savvy four-legged I have ever known and his instincts, particularly about people, were always spot-on. He also had the most wonderful, complex sense of humor. He very quickly earned the nickname "The Little Man." I used to joke that he was not really a dog, but a pure soul on his journey to his next level. Well, I say I was joking anyway.

It's been four years since he went on ahead, I hope to find a shady spot for us under some trees next to a mountain stream. I miss him terribly.


SHARON said...

It's almost criminal how they can worm their way into your heart. My yellow lab, Abby, was a dog that, if she could've crawled under my skin, she'd been happy. She died in my arms a week past her 13th birthday. That was in 1999, and I miss her still. It's comforting to know all of them will be there to greet me when I go 'home'.

purplemagpiesnest said...

I lost The Best Dog Ever, my Cody (a black & tan Hovawart), to cancer in 2004. He died in my arms at the age of almost 15. I've never been the same since, and there will always be a gigantic Cody-sized hole in my heart. But I will always, always be thankful for the privilege of having known such a gentle soul and truly remarkable canine companion. He was one in a million, like Murphy.

Anonymous said...

we just lost our border collie Boomer last weekend. he was the only dog that i trust to take with me into the ram pen. he knew when to keep me safe from those head butter's. he was raised with those sheep and knew all their tricks. in my arms he went to great bigger field. janey