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.