My Life Pets


We had to say goodbye to Murray yesterday.


We adopted him when he was about six months old. We went through obedience school with him and taught him all the usual tricks — sit, stay, shake. He was a quick learner, but he also just had a great temperament. He learned how to walk on a leash by my side while I gave him treats. I remember how gross they were! Cubes of cheese and slices of cold hotdogs. Mmmm. We had a little baggie with us and I would reward him as we went. He loved it.

Walking Murray

Before Murray, I never knew that a dog wouldn’t just run away if given the chance. We had a dog when I was a kid and he escaped all the time but Murray would stick close to home. When we moved into this house, there was no gate between the front and back yard. There was a fence, but no actual gate. We assumed we would need to fix it immediately, but Murray never tried to leave.

Murray at Christmas

Murray with Eleanor as a New Baby

He used to get car sick. Two blocks! We couldn’t take him anywhere! We had to give him doggy anxiety medicine before long car trips up to Wisconsin, but once there he was so happy. Jumping in the lake, hopping on the boat, exploring the woods with the kids.

On the Boat with Murray

Eleanor in the Woods with Murray

This is hard. We didn’t see it coming. He started having accidents and he hadn’t been eating much for a few days. Thinking he might be sick, we made an appointment with the vet and took him the next day. We thought that if something was wrong, that we could take care of him. We didn’t know he was dying. He didn’t even seem sick.

Spleen cancer. Multiple tumors, and internal bleeding.

We didn’t take him to the vet thinking that we would be putting him down that same day. He was 9 years old — we thought we had more time with him.

Murray and the Toy Doggy

Murray, Brandon, Eleanor

Murray in the Snow

He was so good with the kids! Following them around, always a pal at their side. Murray came first — our trial run with caring for a dog before we were ready to have kids. So when the kids did come along, he was a champ through the baby stage. The most patient dog while they pulled on his tail and grabbed at his ears during the toddler years. A best friend to each of them as they grew. I know he was getting older, and you see the years pass so quickly with kids because you can watch them grow and change, but Murray was just Murray. It sort of seemed like he’d be with us forever. Our schmoopy pupperton. Our furry Murray.

Eleanor and Murray

Christmas Murray with the Kids

A Boy and His Dog in the Woods

We loved you and we’re going to miss you so much, Murray. You were the best dog.


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  • Reply
    Kim Burdett
    October 13, 2017 at 1:56 pm

    I’m so sorry, Nicole. He was a beautiful dog and he obviously was so so loved by your family. Lucky him and lucky you to have each other. <3

  • Reply
    October 13, 2017 at 1:59 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss. Losing a furry family member is so painful.

  • Reply
    October 13, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    I’m so sorry, loosing a pet is very hard. My thoughts are with you. Much love. X

  • Reply
    October 13, 2017 at 2:15 pm

    I’m sorry to hear of your loss. Pets, dogs are the best. He will always be with you in your hearts.

  • Reply
    October 13, 2017 at 2:46 pm

    Lovely post in memory of a friend, kiss from Portugal

  • Reply
    October 13, 2017 at 3:04 pm

    I am very sorry, Nicole.

  • Reply
    October 13, 2017 at 3:10 pm

    I’m so sorry Nicole. I remember when you first got him. It’s so painful to lose those furry ones. They are heartbreakers all. Crying for you guys and remembering my own. <3

  • Reply
    October 13, 2017 at 3:21 pm

    So sorry, Nicole. Losing a pet is the worst; especially one as sweet as Murray! <3

  • Reply
    October 13, 2017 at 4:56 pm

    October 9th was the one year anniversary since we had to put our dog Ginger down. It’s tough, I know, but we were so lucky to have her in our household, as I can see you were. A vet once said to me, animals don’t care about the quantity of life, they care about the quality. We found that comforting. Murray obviously had a wonderful life with your family! Missing my pooch too, thanks so much for sharing all the wonderful pictures and Murray with us.

  • Reply
    Deborah Raney
    October 13, 2017 at 5:18 pm

    You honored his life beautifully with your sweet words.

  • Reply
    October 13, 2017 at 5:27 pm

    So sorry for your loss. I lost a pup after only two years when she was hit and killed by a car. No death of a beloved pet is easy, but when you are not ready for it, it is different than when you are prepared.

  • Reply
    October 13, 2017 at 11:18 pm

    A beautiful tribute to a valued family member. The kids have benefited a lot from Murray. We had to put our 16 year old lab down on Mother’s Day. She had been weaker, and then collapsed several times. She was bleeding into her pericardium from a tumor in her heart. It was hard to decide to do it in a 30 minute period of time. You always hope for more time. Maybe get another dog in the spring. Let the kids pick her out. Maybe you could frame his dog tags with a photo of him.

  • Reply
    October 14, 2017 at 3:46 am

    So sorry for your loss. Such a lovely post for Murray and beautiful photos for you to treasure.

  • Reply
    Kim B.
    October 14, 2017 at 6:07 am

    I’m so sorry for your loss. You’ve written him a beautiful tribute, it’s clear how much you all loved him and he you. I’m so sorry for the loss for you and Brandon and the kids. Thinking of you.

  • Reply
    October 14, 2017 at 6:10 am

    I’m so sorry for your loss. What a sweet face and a beautiful tribute.

  • Reply
    October 14, 2017 at 9:35 am

    I’m so sorry. It is incredible how deeply animals love us, and we love them, and how much it hurts when they pass. I’m not sure your religion, but people usually share the “rainbow bridge” poem at this time. I prefer “oblivion bridge” by Coyote Crossing. It’s more physics based. I discovered it four months ago when I arrived home to find my fluffy BFF had passed away.

  • Reply
    October 14, 2017 at 9:45 am

    I’m so sorry. Hemangiosarcoma just sucks, sucks, sucks. I lost my Emma in April to the same thing. It just sucks. What a beautiful tribute this post is to Murray, though, and you can tell he had a life of love and happiness. Hugs to you and your family as you grieve for him.

  • Reply
    October 14, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    I’m so sorry for your family’s loss. I’ve said goodbye to two dogs, over the years, and I still miss them. This post is a lovely tribute to a much-loved member of the family.

  • Reply
    Vanessa Bailey
    October 14, 2017 at 6:41 pm

    Good boy Murray.

  • Reply
    October 15, 2017 at 6:59 am

    oh no! I’m so so sorry. I’m feeling your loss so acutely. I thought I was facing a similar thing. My older dog, 11.5 years, had her spleen removed just Wednesday. They said we were just in time. Many hugs for you.

  • Reply
    Stacey Hansen
    October 15, 2017 at 1:35 pm

    I’m so sorry. What a lucky dog to be part of your family.

  • Reply
    October 15, 2017 at 9:08 pm

    I’m so sad for you. Cancer is a bitch. What a lovely family you are and a lovely tribute. We lost both our cats to Cancer. Seems everyone does. I cried during this post. Murray was pretty special. Just sending you big love during this very sad time.

  • Reply
    October 15, 2017 at 9:35 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss

  • Reply
    October 16, 2017 at 11:32 am

    I’m sorry.

    In 2011, I found a 6 week old pit bull puppy with a bloated belly milling around a Texas parking lot in 105 degree weather. Without a second thought (I saw no one around), I scooped her up, ran inside the store for a collar and puppy food, and high-tailed it to our vet. She was a mess (worms, burned foot pads, eye infection) and wouldn’t have survived another day, according to the vet. We brought her home, named her Maggie, and she was a constant companion to our two young children. Endlessly patient, endlessly kind and loving. One day, two years ago, I noticed that her throat was swollen and her eyes were bloodshot and bulging. We took her to the vet where she was diagnosed with lymphoma at only 4 years old. It’s been 2 years since we all laid on the floor of the vet’s office and whispered into her velvety ears how much we loved her, but I still cry sometimes–as the days have gone by, the sadness has been replaced with laughter and sweet memories recounted.

    One of these days, you’ll think of Murray and smiling will be the first thing you do. Until then, I am with you in your grief.

  • Reply
    October 16, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    I am so very sad and so very sorry to read of your great loss in sweet Murray. I do know just how you feel – we lost our loving lab, Bo, and I have to say that I felt like I had truly lost a member of our family. Just remind yourself how much love and care you all gave Murray, and he knew he was deeply loved……

  • Reply
    October 16, 2017 at 6:19 pm

    May his memory be a blessing. He was obviously very special to your whole family.

  • Reply
    October 17, 2017 at 6:12 am

    oh so sorry to hear this, ye must be devastated. What a lucky dog to have had 9 wonderful years with ye.

  • Reply
    October 17, 2017 at 10:30 am

    I’m so sorry Nicole… I can only imagine how heartbroken you all are to lose your first baby. Sending hugs your way!

  • Reply
    October 19, 2017 at 9:39 pm

    Oh I am so, so sorry you lost this wonderful member of your family. Sending love to you and yours.

  • Reply
    October 21, 2017 at 4:08 am

    I’m so sorry. I know this pain – I had a similar experience with my 11 year old Husky, who was with me through thick and thin. My heart hurts with you.

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