Doug Boutwell the occasional odd thought or image

Goodbye, Murray

Photo by Anna Kuperberg -

After having Murray in our lives for over ten years, yesterday we finally made the decision to let him move on.  He was 16+ years old, and his legs and back were causing him so much pain on a daily basis that there just wasn’t much joy left for him in life (despite his daily meds, which at certain points rivaled anything I’ve seen humans have to take).

Yesterday afternoon, I went to the butcher and bought him his very own half-pound NY strip steak, seared it on the grill, chopped it into pieces he could manage with what little teeth he had, and covered it with a mound of shredded cheddar cheese (his favorite thing in the world).  He devoured the whole thing, though we still couldn’t get a tail wag out of him (which we haven’t seen in months).  Later that day, together with his vet, Chenin and I held him in our arms and stroked his fur while he passed into his last, final sleep.  It was one of the hardest things we’ve ever done, but giving him a peaceful death, surrounded by people who loved him, was the final gift we could give to a companion that’s brought so much joy into our lives.

To Murray (even though we know full well you can only read Spanish): You were truly a one-of-a-kind creature.  We found you at a time when no one else wanted you, and you returned the favor with fanatical love, devotion, and affection.  You’ve meant so much to us over the last decade, and saying goodbye to you marks the closing of a chapter in our lives.  You’ll be missed by all who knew you.  Sweet dreams, little pooch.  We’ll see you on the other side.

Murray - 10 years ago

34 Responses to Goodbye, Murray

  1. chris says:

    Doug and Chenin,
    I can’t imagine how hard this time is for you guys. We have a Boston Terrier, Wilson, who is like a son to us and I dread that day that we have to go through the same experience. Our thoughts are with you two, Murray looked like an awesome member of the Boutwell family.

    All the best,
    Chris, Adrienne and Wilson Scott

  2. katy gray says:

    Doug & Chenin – I’m so sorry for your loss – I hope I have the courage to make the same decision when the time comes for my sweet buddy. You’re in my thoughts.


  3. Hélène says:

    OH hard times. I’m sorry for your loss.

  4. danielchin. says:

    Hey guys. I still remember being at the door by this furry guy, and I also him really liking Jeannie’s lap during our consult. :) A sad day that we gladly share with you guys.

  5. Erin says:

    He was so loved, what a beautiful life he had.

    So sorry for your loss.

  6. Josh Solar says:

    it’s tough to lose a pet, they truly are part of the family. at least Murray got to hang with Max for a bit. I’m sure he was well loved & that’s all that matters.

  7. Andrea Roberts says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. It is so clear that Murray had the best life a dog could ask for. Sending thoughts of peace and comfort your way.

  8. SO sorry to hear for your loss, man. You guys did the right thing for sure and he’s in a better place.

  9. Misty says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. He defiantly lived a loved and full life and is in a better place now.

  10. Susan Stripling says:

    Oh you guys. So so sorry to hear about your loss. I had the pleasure of meeting Murray once and it was clear how much he meant to you. Thinking of you and sending lots of love your way…

  11. Eric Fadden says:

    Just wanted to pass along words of condolences. I read you in my RSS stream and, while I pay attention to everything that my eyes come across, I read every single word of this post twice, after which I might have wiped away a tear or two, and then composed this comment.

    The loss of a pet is devastating and, as the human to a couple of cats that no else really wanted either, what we hold on to the most is the knowledge of what we brought into their lives. And, we know that they love us for it from how they look at us.

    Murray was loved and he knew it. You’re in my thoughts.

  12. admin says:

    Thanks so much everyone for the outpouring of love…

  13. Aunt Sherry says:

    Big hugs to both of you. Murry had a wonderful loving home and I’m sure his soul will remain within your hearts forever. Dogs are just like that. Love, Aunt Sherry

  14. oh my, how sad that is…I have tears all over my face right now. I know how it feels. I feel your pain.

  15. amy b says:

    oh my goodness. the steak. the cheese. I just felt a little bit of your pain.

  16. I am so sorry to hear this, but knowing that Murray is at peace now helps heal the wound a little easier as I can only imagine. (I’m still in tears yet I’ve never met any of you guys.) It’s too ironic, though, because I took my dog out for her second official shoot with me. It’s been three years and I wanted to document her some more. After reading this about Murray, I want to keep documenting Maile while she’s still here with us. Thank you for sharing your story with us, it’s a great reminder what an incredible blessing our dogs are to us.

  17. Cristy Cross says:

    Oh my gosh that is so incredibly sad. I am crying and I didn’t even know Murray, but I have two dogs who were our “children” before our human baby :) They mean so much to us and I wouldn’t know what to do without them.
    Some poeple may think its silly to love an animal so much, but we are there everything and they love us unconditionally.
    Praying for you and Chenin :)

  18. Kyle says:

    I’m so sorry.

  19. Liz says:

    Murray will live in the hearts of everyone he met, and will never be forgotten. Lots of love and hugs from Canada.

  20. [ b ] says:

    hey guys… so sorry for your loss. he was a great dog. love you guys!

  21. KMO says:

    my eyes are tearing up… sad to hear about Murray. *sniff*

  22. Jeffrey Neal says:

    I am so sorry for you both! What a joy to have him for the time that you did!

  23. Erron Ocampo says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Reminded me how I bawled over Marley and Me movie. I feel the pain.

  24. Katie Neal says:

    I’m a bit late to see this post, but remember seeing Chenin post about your loss on twitter. I’m also a bit late to also offer my condolences on here. I’m so so so sorry for your loss. I’m seriously balling my eyes out right now…partially because you’re little story made it the pain come to life, and maybe also knowing I will have to go through the same thing soon with my childhood puppy. Again, I’m so sorry, but he was a lucky dog to have had you adopt him and live the life he did!

  25. Kim Lowery says:

    I’m giving my dogs a hug and an extra treat for this. I’m so sorry, and thank you for sharing.

  26. Just saw your post…sending puppy love and prayers you’re way!

  27. Mands says:

    Don’t often post here, but this post really made me cry. We just got a puppy that no one wanted, and can’t imagine how hard this was for all of you. They are members of our families and entwined in our lives. Hope he’s running and chasing butterflies in heaven.

  28. Dominoe Imus says:

    Oh Wow, that was quite a sad story. Thank you for sharing it. It’s hard to let go of those you love.

  29. I am so sorry for you guys. This made me do the ugly cry. I am so sorry for your loss, but think he passed in an amazing way around an amazing family. Prayers for you guys! Thank goodness for wonderful pictures to evoke your wonderful memories.

  30. Kristen says:

    Either the PMS is particularly strong this evening, or I just sobbed like a friggin weenie at this blog post because I’m a big dog-hearting sap. Curses to these emotional, heartfelt blog posts…

    and r.i.p., Murray.

  31. Sarah says:

    I hope I can muster up the same strength that you both did when it came time for Murray. He is now having cheddar cheese for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

  32. Lisa says:

    OK, yeah so I’m crying…Mainly cause your post hit so close to home and my 14 y black lab behind me sounds like Darth Vader as I type.
    SO sorry about your pup! Sounds like it had a wonderful life once he found you and your family. take care

  33. matt adcock says:

    so sorry to hear this news :(

  34. shipra says:

    ok, that just made me mist up. What a lovely and tender tribute. Sweet dreams, Murray.

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