My Favorite Part

Life is precious. I think most would agree with these words. As you can imagine, I’ve been asked quite a bit lately about my road trip. One common question- “what was your favorite part of the trip?” I think clarity comes over time, yet I from my perspective today my answer just might surprise some.

Let me start by giving you a little background about my dog, Murphy. He’s fifteen years old, actually nearly sixteen. I purchased him from a mall pet store in 2004 as a three-month-old puppy. I had always found dachshund’s somewhat funny looking, yet he stole my heart by how darn cute he was as a little guy that day. I took him out to play in one of the small rooms typically found at pet stores. He crawled up my arm and sat on my shoulder looking over at me while tilting his head sideways. I truly believe that he chose me more than I chose him.

I was twenty years old at the time and this decision was ill-advised from my dad and others’ perspectives. Murph has lived in nine different places with over the past fifteen years. I must admit that charging a twenty-year-old with the responsibility of taking care of another living creature is somewhat of a risk. I was selfish and volatile looking back, after all I was twenty. I could barely take care of myself. Nonetheless, I owned a dog that probably took several years to actually pay off.

Murphy and I had quite the journey over the past fifteen years. I regrettably took him for granted for many of them, figuring I had plenty of time. I suppose other priorities seemed to matter more at that young age. I say this as I look back and realize I could’ve been a better caretaker of the little guy. Don’t get me wrong, he’s been well taken care of. I just wish I would’ve given him more love and intentional time over the years, as he’s certainly deserving. He’s been an incredible companion to me, and as I reminded him this morning- he’s my very best friend. He’s been the most common thread throughout my life for a long time, and as he slows down it deeply saddens me. Anyone who has watched a favorite pet go through the final stages of life know exactly what I mean.

Despite being sad by the ultimate outcome and having some regrets about not spending as much time with him early on, I’m truly grateful. I realize that every day is truly a blessing at this point. I give Murphy tons of love these days and he reciprocates. I believe as I’ve become more spiritual and my priorities have changed, our bond has multiplied tenfold. He’s an incredible dog that has truly left an imprint on my life, and also on my heart.

He was the best part of my trip. Our companionship over those seven weeks was absolutely awesome. He doesn’t like letting me out of his sight anymore because we grew so close. I escaped routine and reset many parts of my life, including Murphy and my relationship. I believe we were meant to go on this journey together. I believe we made up for some lost time over the years. I believe he feels more love, as do I, because I brought him as my chosen wingman!

There you have it! I know it might seem silly to some, but it’s my true answer. The absolute favorite part of my trip was the day to day time I spent loving this pup and feeling his love for me. The favorite part of this trip was Murphy, my best friend, my irreplaceable shotgun rider!

I cannot reiterate my initial point enough. I know it is often said, yet is it really FELT that often? Time is precious! Spend some extra time loving on those you love, even your furry family members. Every day is a true blessing!

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