Lessons from the magic of Murphy

Published March 6, 2020

The Doggie Makes His Debut

For many years I wanted a golden retriever but circumstances made it impractical. I'd often make references to "Murphy" my imaginary dog, and the whimpering at dog parks mostly came from me. I couldn't help it. So many playmates for Murphy frolicking all around me.

The stars aligned in late 2019. A lovely dog was available for adoption at Golden Bond Rescue and on December 27 we met Murphy for the very first time. He was gentle, mellow, and affectionate — a perfect fit for the family:

Who Rescued Whom?

Just as we welcomed Murphy I was hit by an unexpected round of layoffs. Meanwhile, Christina was transitioning to a new career so we were suddenly dealing with a fair amount of volatility. In the pre-Murphy era the stress and uncertainty would've likely been a perpetual dark cloud. But alas, this is where Murphy began to work his magic.

His first lesson: get outside and enjoy the fresh air.

As luck would have it, January 2020 was one of the wettest months in recent memory and cabin fever was creeping in. That brought us to Murphy's second lesson: when you have to stay inside, make the most of it.

Unfortunately I couldn't spend every waking moment playing fetch. There were matters around the house which needed my attention, e.g. desks to build. And so Murphy imparted his third lesson: when you're doing something incredibly boring you'll still have good company.

Home improvement projects aside, I needed to prepare myself for technical interviews with various books and online courses. Naturally this led to Murphy's fourth lesson: I'll gently notify you when it's time to step away from the laptop.

Every time I was tempted to start feeling sorry for myself, there was a cold wet nose derailing that train of thought and making me smile. This is perhaps Murphy's most important lesson so far: take joy from the silliest things.

Bonus Lessons

Come to think of it, Murphy's always challenging my outlook on things. Just a few examples:

Before Murphy: "This grassy patch looks like a great spot for a picnic."
After Murphy: "This grassy patch looks like a great spot for Murphy to poop."

Before Murphy: "There's gotta be a Starbucks around here!?"
After Murphy: "There's gotta be a dog waste station around here!?"

Before Murphy: "I'll take the cheapest vacuum you've got, please."
After Murphy: "I'll take the most expensive vacuum you've got, please."

Before Murphy: "ARGH! Someone left a tennis ball lying here. >:("
After Murphy: "SWEET! Someone left a tennis ball lying here! :D"

And lessons yet to come

As we roll into the spring and summer months, I have no doubt Murphy will continue to change my perspective and bestow additional lessons. I'll be sure to include them here, so stay tuned!