I was 13 years old when my younger sisters and I pooled our money and went to the pound looking for a small girl dog. No luck on the girl part, but I walked past one dog's cage several times before I asked my parents if they were firm on our dog being a girl. The sign on his cage said he'd just been bathed and groomed, but he still looked a bit ragged. His brown eyes were what got me, so sad, so resigned. He was left tied up outside the pound, with no note. Age unknown. I had to have him.
I had put in the most money for our dog, and he was mostly mine. We named him Murphy and he slept in my room. He had a bed, but I let him share mine. He was my friend, my child, my companion. I took him everywhere with me. He moved from Alaska, to Washington, to California and finally to New Jersey and he never complained. Each new place was an adventure we shared.
He was never quite happy with my getting married. It meant he wasn't allowed in my bed and I felt very sad about that. I know, husband or dog....hard choice! When I was pregnant with our first child I was worried about Murphy. He was getting old, he was a smidge cranky, and I wasn't sure how much time a baby would take. Would I still be able to shower Murphy with as much attention as I always did?
Sadly, I never found out. He passed away before the baby came. I was heartbroken, still am actually, and it's been 14 years this April. We've had two kids, and added two dogs, and there is still a place in me upon which has been carved, 'Murphy was here'.
He made a difference in my life, and for that I am eternally thankful. I am a better person for having loved and been loved by a dog.
And to those who question whether dogs will be in heaven, I have read a quote from Rev. Billy Graham that I love. He said, "I think God will have prepared everything for our perfect happiness. If it takes my dog being there [in Heaven], I believe he'll be there. "
I agree wholeheartedly.