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GOOD Murphy

Because of all the negative things I have written here about Murphy, I need to make amends. Murphy is not always a Bad Dog and he is not an Evil Entity. Sometimes, he is just a funny dog and a good buddy to have.

I wrote what I wrote knowing that I am not (and may never be) a “dog” person. I like cats. I struggle with a fear of dogs. I understand this: I struggle with a fear of horses, too. They’re big. They can hurt you. I have been hurt. By dogs and by horses.

But the trick is to get inside their heads. It takes me some time to do that: I have to read up on the subject and learn all the different techniques to assert dominance¬† because that is the key to relationships with dogs or horses. It’s all about who is the Top Dog (or horse). In the world of Pecking Orders, you have to be the boss.

I was unprepared for the dog that Murphy is. He came to us full of himself and determined to be the Top Dog, no matter what. That, combined with my husband’s reluctance to neuter him, created an atmosphere of power struggle. One of us was going to lose, and it wasn’t going to be me. Hence, Murphy was made a eunuch. In the world of Feminine Dominance, testosterone must be cut off. (Sorry guys, I just had to insert that. Tongue-in-cheek, OK?)

Since his little “operation”, Murphy has mellowed considerably. Not mellowed in energy or flower-bed jumping and certainly not in stealing. But he has mellowed.

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He is still Don’s Lap Dog.

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What can I say?

This past week, we had all kinds of company. Levi came to visit and brought his lovely wife, Kaci, to meet all of us. Arwen’s in-laws were in-country from the Phillipines and we had a barbecue with them. The potential for a Murphy-sized disaster was – huge. Really HUGE. Because Murphy doesn’t have a large dog pen (yet), only a small temporary dog pen and a crate. He needs to be able to run all over the back yard and burn some energy.

We had to risk letting him meet Levi and a very pregnant Kaci since they were staying in our house.

stuff 043I just inserted that because I like the photo. Kaci and Levi enjoying a moment, with nephew Javen in her arms.

The week worked out great. Levi and Kaci love dogs. they’re not intimidated by BIG. They had no problem with Murphy.

Well, he did steal some socks, but he always gave them up when he got caught.

He still wasn’t allowed to run around when the babies were in our yard, but he wasn’t bereft of attention.

stuff 035Levi tossed the football to him.

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He really wanted the football.

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“Levi! Would you feel sorry for the poor dog?”

Levi retrieved the football and let Murphy pull his nose back into the kennel. Poor pup-peh (that’s Zephan’s name for him).

In the end, Murphy was just a GOOD dog. He didn’t bark too much when we had all the family in the backyard and they played croquet right by his kennel (Ball!!). The worst he got was after everyone left on the 3rd except Levi, Kaci, Don & I. And the fireworks began. Murphy is not afraid of fireworks, but he has to bark at them. Loudly. Furiously.

As Kaci said, “Why do people shoot them on the 3rd? Do you think they even know what the 4th is all about?”

We’ve been asking that question for years.

The 4th of July dawned and our soldier loaded up his car for home. Almost as soon as they were out of the driveway, we loaded up our car and headed for the woods. Our goal was to get Murphy away from town and fireworks.

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This is where Murphy belongs. In the Great Outdoors.

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Sometimes things are meant to be. I was contemplating what to blog about next (I have a LOT) and the subject of what a good dog Murphy was last week was heavy on my heart. I received a letter from my long-time pen pal tonight and she wrote “I know that you and Murphy have had your differences (!!), but you’ve actually made me fall in love with him. Does that seem like betrayal? I hope not. I am on your side, truly. It’s just that he’s so big and naughty and adorable, and he’s such a character. I can’t resist that FACE!”

Well, here’s that face again, just for you, Laurelle:

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He was SUCH a GOOD dog last week.

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