Thursday, January 7, 2016

Murdock Allen

Last night was a particularly rough evening for me.  It wasn't a milestone, so it was pretty unexpected.  I've learned to prepare for the 'milestone' days {27th of the month, holidays, 'firsts' that you're missing, etc.} in fact it was 40 days from yesterday.  I'm assuming it was because last night was the first night the four of us were all home, together, and healthy enough to have dinner as a family and play together afterwards and you weren't here with us.  Maybe I'm emotional because I'm still sick.  Or just still pissed that you never got to move into the new house with us.  How can it be home when we aren't all here? I'm not really sure, but I've given myself enough time that I wanted to write your story out.
Our first photo together -- at the Jefferson kennel [2009]
Every story has a beginning, middle, and end. This is Murdock's story. We love & miss you like crazy, Murd!
At our bridal shower [2009]
We brought you home just less than seven years ago. It was a cold winter Saturday morning, and I had just moved in with Adam a few months prior.  We engaged yet, but I had been hinting that we needed a dog.  Adam wasn't on board, until this morning when he woke up and showed me a website with you on it.  We drove to Jefferson, IA that day.  I fell in love with you immediately.  I knew you were 'the one.'  I was devastated that I couldn't take you home with me, but anxious to prepare for your arrival less than a week later. 
One of my favorite photos of you 
I remember your first car ride with me so vividly.  We were in my Nissan Altima, me in the drivers seat, you in the passengers.  But not for long.  Before we made it out of the city limits, you were in my lap.  We drove around a lot like that in those early years.  You went every where with us -- errands, play dates, friend's houses, on walks, the dog park, and the lake.

Perhaps my favorite story with you is the night, less than a week after we got you, when I felt guilty about leaving you in your kennel when we went to dinner and to meet a friends' new baby in the hospital, so I let you ride along and stay in the car.  We learned that night that you get anxious when lots of people are walking in and out, and as a result, you pooped all over the back seat of Adam's car.  Thankfully it had leather seats.  We also learned just how much I loved you that night when I cleaned it up. 

You were hands down the most kind and gentle dog, and almost anyone that met you told us that, too.  You never nipped at anyone--if you were annoyed you simply walked away.  Simply put you were the best dog we could have had when we started adding kids to the family.  My biggest fear is that they won't remember you--despite the number of 'horse rides' you gave them or 'hugs' they gave you.  
In your early days you loved to go running with me which was one of my favorite times with you, other than going to bed each night.  Every night was the same…you started in the bed with me and when Adam came to bed you hoped down to your pillow without hesitation.  When we first got you, we kenneled you, but after just a few months we started leaving you out to roam all day.  Considering we never 'trained' you and I can only think of a handful of 'Marley Moments' in 7 years, I would say you were a damn good dog! We were so lucky to find you.

We dealt with ear infections and skin allergies which paled in comparison to the vet bills that came in the following years.  Shortly after Jordyn was born, you stopped eating and we almost lost you.  We spent so much time and money at the Iowa State Vet clinic that year.  The Derm department ran every test they could think of to get you better.  The staff fell in love with you.  I kept you alive on meat babyfood.  I remember sending Adam to all of the stores in town to buy out what they had in stock.  You were so sick Adam had to carry you up and down the stairs at our condo.  At one point, you, Jordyn, and I moved to the lake house for a bit so you didn't have to deal with stairs.  In the end, they determined you had an Auto-Immune Disorder.  A disorder that you lived with for the next 4 years.  I can honestly say I thanked God for you every single day of those 4 years.  You always were my first baby.  
Speaking of baby, you always knew as soon as I was pregnant and never left my side during that time.  You were always great with Jordyn, but as soon as we added our baby boy, Cullyn to the family, you were instant best friends. You two were unseparable. You loved us all, but Cullyn was your buddy.  He never quite learned how to say Murdock correctly, always sounding more like 'Marker' 
You had several of nicknames over the years. Murd. Rufus. But most commonly, Murdock Allen.  I know people thought we were crazy for giving you a middle name, but we didn't even think twice about it.  It was totally unplanned, but the second Adam called you Murdock Allen, it just fit.  And so you became Murdock Allen Hubbard.
We fell in love with you and we fell hard. You were my first, my only, pet.  Which is why the end of your story is the hardest to write. My eyes are filled and that lump just won’t leave the back of my throat. 

Thanksgiving morning we all packed up from the lake and headed to my parent's house.  After lunch, you began hacking up white foam and drooling, which was uncommon for you.  We assumed you had gotten part of someone's Thanksgiving meal, since a very unfortunate side effect of one of your medicines was that you always thought you were starving.  So we grumbled about having to take turns leaving the living room to take you downstairs, through the garage, and outside.  This went on through the night.  I sent Adam to bed and stayed up with you--taking you out every 5-15 minutes.  Just before 2a I started googling your symptoms, fearing your stomach was going to flip.  I got down past upset stomach and saw bloat.  I remember actually being relieved that that's 'all it was.'  Stupid me.  About 4a I looked at the site again and kept reading.  That's when I knew what was happening.  Your stomach was in fact flipping, like I had painfully watched--and sobbed through--in Marley & Me as a kid.  I spent the next 4 hours preparing myself and deciding what to tell the kids.  I knew that surgery wasn't an option, you had already been through so much.  And at 7, I knew in my mind you had lived a really good live, despite what my heart was telling me.  I cried, and cried, and cried while holding you.  I held you almost every day for 7 years, I couldn't imagine not taking you to bed that night.  I thought about all of the things you were going to miss and how I didn't get enough video of you with the kids.  

Around 6a you finally stopped throwing up and drooling.  I finally rested for a bit.  At 8a, I called a local vet {a family friend about 45 minutes from my parent's house}  She was off {it was Friday, Black Friday--which was always be black Friday for us now} but agreed to come in for us.  So on Friday, November 27th, Adam and I took you to the clinic.  Adam tried to insist I stay home and let him handle it, but I couldn't bear the thought of leaving you one second before I had to.  I sat with you in the back of the van the whole way to the clinic.  The vet said there was nothing she could do, your stomach had in fact flipped.  At 10a, you took your last breath while laying on the floor of the Independence Vet Clinic.  I was holding you and sobbing like a crazy lady and so thankful we were the only people in the clinic.  Just like that, we left for the holiday weekend as a family of five and would go home as a family of four.  Although the night was long, I remember thinking it was all happening so fast.  So unexpected.  I had a hard time convincing myself it was real.
Well the tears are streaming now and it's getting hard to read when I'm writing, plus I'm not really sure how I'm supposed to end this.  Just know you're always on my mind, Murd.  Some days I still wake up thinking I have to take you out and every time I walk in the door, I wait to be greeted by you.  I only wish.

I'm thankful for every single one of these photos I made you take.  There will never be enough.

We miss you every single day, Murdock.  I love you more than you'll ever know.  Mama 


  1. Beautiful tribute to Murdock! He was one loved dog!! Now that I am in tears again, lol, 2015 may have been great and all, but losing our Lily seems to be the only thing that sticks out and that makes it shitty! Sounds like we are on the same page as far as our grief goes and as entirely selfish as I feel for wanting her back, I know she is at peace now and will no longer suffer and I often need to remind myself of that. But Agee there will never be enough pictures for all the memories we will hold. Sadly Noah doesn't remember Lily, but in all it's probably best because I didn't have to explain to him how raw life can be sometimes. Still thinking of you and your family!

    1. Thanks Ashley. It means a lot since I know you're going through the same thing. :(

  2. I'm so so sorry! :( It's so hard to say goodbye to pets. I cried for a month when we had to put our kitty to sleep. Hang in there.

  3. Beautiful and I'm definitely crying. He was so loved, you guys gave him an incredible life.

    1. Thanks Amanda. Thinking of you often lately. Hope you and the girls are doing okay during this hard time.

  4. Bawling! I remember the night you came to meet Jayden in the hospital and the story that came of the car pooping incident! He was/is such a special dog! Our family loved him and we feel so lucky we were able to have him "live" with us while you were away. Sending love and hugs to all of you!

    1. Thanks means a lot! We miss you guys! Let's schedule a date soon!!!


Thanks for taking the time to read some of our story & especially for commenting!

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