On 23 September, at 9:30pm, my dog Murray passed away very suddenly in my arms. He saw his vet that morning to start a course of heart medication, when a heart attack took him. I gave him several rounds of CPR, but he didn’t recover. He was 15, and led a good and full life.
The past week has been a blur of pain and numbness, as our family comes to terms with our lives after Murray. We all knew he was an old dog, and a sick dog, but within minutes he changed from getting better to gone. The suddenness was a mercy for him, although painful for us.
After I made arrangements for his funeral, I couldn’t sleep, so I wrote a Pugmire story about Murray, and about dealing with death. And through the world of Pugmire, Murray lives on.
Goodbye, buddy. I miss you.
Yosha knocked hesitantly on the thick oak door to her uncle’s office. She heard a deep “Come in, come in,” and pushed the door open.
Behind his desk, Seneschal Murra, Prince of Pugmire, shuffled papers from one part of his desk to the other. Yosha noticed his fur was getting grayer every day. At this point, it was more gray than black. She wondered if he would end up being completely gray at some point.
“You sent for me, Uncle Murra?” Yosha sat in the chair across from him, paws folded in her lap.
“I just need you to sign some papers, niece. A mere formality.” He flipped through the stack, and carefully extracted one. He adjusted the glasses on what passed for a nose, nodded to himself, and then handed it to her.
Yosha carefully took it from him. Her eyes grew wide as she read the first few lines. “But uncle… this is your will.”
“Yes, my child. I am not a young dog, you know, and I have to make certain… allowances… for when my time comes.”
Yosha set the paper down. “But you’re a strong dog, uncle. I’m sure you’ll live for many years yet.”
The elderly dog took his glasses off and set them aside. “Sweet Yosha, I sometimes forget how young you are. To you, everyone will live forever. But I know that I won’t. Every day my legs hurt a little more, and my cough gets a little worse.”
“But…” She shoved the paper away, suddenly. “I don’t want to think about you dying!” Her eyes brimmed with tears.
Murra stood up, walked over to the young puppy, and knelt beside her. She could hear the soft pop from his joints as he did. “There is a way you can make sure I live forever, you know.”
She wipes the tears away with a paw. “What’s that?”
He smiled, and patted her head. “Remember me. Tell everyone about my life, good and bad. If I leave just one happy story behind, then I’ll always live.” He poked her in the chest. “Right here.”
Crying, she leapt out of the chair to wrap her arms around Murra’s neck. “You’ll always be a happy story to me, uncle. Always.”
Murra hugged her back, so she couldn’t see the tears in his own eyes.